July 14, 2013

McDowell down to three

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Locust Grove safety Cortez McDowell was at Georgia's annual Dawg Night event on Friday, and fresh off that visit to Athens, he is now ready to narrow things down to a top three.

"Georgia, Auburn, and Tennessee. That is my top three," McDowell told UGASports in a telephone interview on Sunday night. "It's not in that order, but those three are in my top three. Other schools are still in the mix."

He also knows when he will make a decision.

"August 2 is the day when I am going to commit," he said. "That is going to give me a chance to get back to Auburn. It is going to give me another chance to get back to Tennessee. I may get back to Georgia. If not, I used Dawg Night as a chance to get a close look at Georgia in case I don't have a chance to get back. I can make sure whatever school I choose will be the right school. It will be my fifth time at both of those schools."

It is rare that a recruit likes three different schools for three distinct reasons, but that is the case with McDowell as all of the schools in his top group have a specific reason for being there.

● Tennessee - "The camaraderie of the coaching staff there is great. It is a first group of coaches and they look like they have been together for multiple years. They are all on the same page with each other so that's the big thing."

● Auburn - "I like how it is a family vibe for them. It seems like they put the players before football and everything else before football. That is the big thing."

● Georgia - "It is the in-state school and they are the first school to offer me with the Head Coach. It is Georgia. In this state, it is Georgia or Georgia Tech and over the years it has been proven that Georgia is the better team. It is Georgia."

With multiple visits and a decision looming, McDowell says that this weekend's visit to UGA - possibly his last before he makes a decision - was a trip with a lot of positives.

"There were a lot of people there, but it was good to get back to Georgia," McDowell said. "I had a chance to see a lot of familiar faces and meet new people. It was all just a good thing. I had fun. It was just good to get back. It definitely helped Georgia with me. There is just a lot more understanding now and more about how Georgia wants me."

According to the 6-foot-2, 199 pound prospect, the message from the UGA staff was simple.

McDowell is a wanted man in Athens.

"The (Georgia) coaches told me I am one of the big targets for them," he said. "With that being said, it is a special thing for me. I like that."

The Georgia coaching staff also let him know that he has a chance to see the field right away should he choose to play his college ball in The Classic City.

"There is a great chance there," McDowell said of the opportunity to play early at Georgia. "I was speaking with Coach (Todd) Grantham and he told me there wouldn't be any sitting around and waiting. There will be a chance for me to come in and play early and earn a spot to see the field."

Each recruit has things they are looking for in a school but McDowell, who is also a standout on the baseball diamond, is looking for a chance to be a two sport athlete at the next level.

"It (having the chance to play baseball) is a big thing for me," he said. "I like baseball, too, so if I have a good opportunity to play both, I would like to take it."

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