There’s been a change of heart for 4-star outside linebacker VanDarius Cowan.
On Saturday, the linebacker from Palm Beach Gardens High School (Florida) announced on Twitter he will not be playing for the Florida State Seminoles but instead will be suiting up for head coach Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Cowan provided a statement to explain his decision:
Listed at 6’4″ and 217 pounds, Cowan is the fifth-best outside linebacker in the 2017 class and the No. 17 prospect from the state of Florida. He’s also the 78th-best prospect in the nation, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.
This is not the first time Cowan has backed out of playing for head coach Jimbo Fisher and the Seminoles. Cowan first committed to FSU in June before changing his mind Oct. 25. Five days later, Alabama offered a scholarship to Cowan.
According to his recruiting timeline on 247Sports, he recommitted to Florida State on Dec. 29, but schools such as Tennessee, Ohio State and USC continued to push offers to him. Cowan took an unofficial visit to Alabama on Friday before officially flipping his commitment Saturday.
“It’s better than Florida State,” he said, per Ryan Bartow of 247Sports. “I felt I could play there and they produce good linebackers. Alabama has a good foundation. It’s a family. If you play football in Tuscaloosa, you are the man. It’s a college town.”
Since 2010, six Alabama linebackers have landed in the NFL draft, with three going in the first round (C.J. Mosley, Dont’a Hightower, Rolando McClain) . Defense has been Alabama’s calling card for years, and it starts with the linebackers.
However, to imply Florida State hasn’t produced good linebackers would be a stretch. Since 2010, eight Florida State linebackers have landed in the NFL draft. Some have been late-round draft picks, but players such as Telvin Smith, Lawrence Timmons and Nigel Bradham have had solid NFL careers.
But this may turn out better for Florida State, knowing it avoided a player who decommitted from the program twice. Alabama got a skilled linebacker, and hopefully he’ll stick with his decision this time.
All composite rankings courtesy of 247Sports, unless otherwise noted.
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