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- American-football player (1979-)
The Florida Gators were named one of five finalists in the recruitment of Jacob Cowing, a transferring wide receiver from UTEP, on Sunday afternoon. Cowing’s narrowed list comprised Oregon, South Carolina, Arizona, LSU and Florida. He posted it on his Instagram story, promising his final decision on Monday.
Cowing entered the transfer portal on Dec. 21 following the conclusion of his third season at UTEP. He was immediately one of the hottest names on the market and drew attention from a who’s who of high-major teams. The Gators’ offer rolled in on Dec. 27 and evidently made quick work building a relationship with him. Other teams that didn’t make the cut included Arizona State, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
Over the course of the 2021 season, Cowing totaled 1,354 yards on 69 receptions, including eight 100-plus yard games. That averages to an unbelievable 19.6 yards per reception. He’s clearly too much of a player for Conference USA.
JACOB COWING WILDIN’ OUT TONIGHT pic.twitter.com/XZLJ2CajjJ
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) August 29, 2021
The fact Florida was willing to offer on Cowing only six days after he was made available for contact speaks volumes of their evaluation of the veteran slot receiver. Head coach Billy Napier has been extraordinarily cautious regarding the players for whom he’s willing extend a scholarship offer.
The utility of Cowing on the Gators’ roster is clear. There’s little stability at any position on the offensive side of the ball for Napier’s first year in The Swamp. Cowing is a low-maintenance take thanks to his three years of experience and would effectively plug the Gators’ gaping need for a reliable underneath receiver.
Furthermore, the offense will be in the hands of a first-year starter no matter who winds up at quarterback for Florida. Jack Miller was given nearly no playing time with Ohio State, and Anthony Richardson was inconsistent during the handful of games he was given meaningful reps and wasn’t injured. Cowing could be the steadying force in the passing game that helps either man settle into the role.
The Gators’ competition for Cowing’s attention is stiff. South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler was leaning on him to join the Gamecocks. Cowing is originally from the Phoenix area, making Arizona his hometown team. Oregon can offer him a tremendous amount of playing time, and Dan Lanning’s new staff is an exciting group with promise. That’s not to mention LSU, which is as much a legacy program as Florida with a better-known head coach at the head and more recent national success.
Cowing’s decision may not go in favor of the Orange and Blue, but regardless of what happens, it’s encouraging to see Napier go big game hunting in the transfer portal. The portal is an essential element to team building in the modern era of college football. Napier will have to get involved there as well as in high school recruiting to make a success of his Gators tenure.
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