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December 7, 2004

Florida's top DT gets in-home visit from FSU

video Jeff Owens scouting video

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A couple years ago Florida State was so thin at defensive tackle that a walk-on was forced to play in a bowl game. The Seminoles are doing their best on the recruiting trail to make sure that doesn't happen again. One of the top targets to beef up the 'Noles' depth chart is Plantation's Jeff Owens. The state of Florida's top rated defensive tackle made the long drive to Tallahassee last month for an unofficial visit and earlier this week spent several hours meeting with defensive line coach Odell Haggins.

"From what I understand it went pretty good," Plantation coach Frank Hepler said. "He told me this morning it was a good visit. They are supposed to come in next week - I think coach (Bobby) Bowden maybe in next week."

At one time or another Owens has listed either FSU, Miami or Georgia as his top team. Where do the three of them stand this week?

"Right now I would say Miami, Florida State and Georgia are my three," Owens said. "They are all No. 1 right now."

The four-star defensive tackle went to Georgia for an official visit last month and will trip to Miami (1/21) and FSU (1/28) next month. The other two schools in his top five will get visits over the next two weeks - N.C. State this weekend and Auburn the weekend of December 17th.

Until recently, Auburn weren't being mentioned by Owens but now he says he is very interested in the Tigers.

"I always liked them and they have a good team and everything is going good for them," he said. "That's another team I have a chance to play on early if I come in and play (well)."

Owens helped lead his team to a perfect 9-0 record in the regular season before they lost in the first round of the state playoffs. He posted some impressive numbers racking up 16 quarterback sacks and 24 total tackles for loss.

"He can move and he knows how to use it and it's not just straight ahead," Hepler said. "He knows how to get around people and use his hands. That's what these guys like about him. For a big kid he's not just a leaner, he's an athlete, he uses his hands and gets by people. It's hard to block people like that."

Owens will play in the Cali-Florida Bowl scheduled to be played in the Orange Bowl on January 2nd.

According to Owens' coach he is academically qualified.

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