Chris Hays/Orlando Sentinel

Tyree Owens of Oviedo (Fla.) High School chose WVU over Georgia Tech and Iowa State.

ORLANDO, Fla. — West Virginia landed one of its top defensive targets for the Class of 2014 when Oviedo High’s Tyree Owens chose the Mountaineers over Georgia Tech and Iowa State.

The 6-foot-3, 256-pounder is a raw talent who only began playing football during spring practice of his freshman year, but his 4.7 speed and long wingspan helped him draw a three-star rating from Rivals. He has continued adding weight and growing into his frame since MetroNews counted him among the top defensive line targets in June.

Though Owens committed to WVU coaches on Friday while attending camp in Morgantown, he saved his public announcement for Monday night during a streaming telecast with the Orlando Sentinel.

“West Virginia had the best family feel—when I got there this weekend they welcomed me with open arms,” said Owens, who aims to major in physical therapy. “They have two hospitals there, so that will be a big benefit and I’ll be able to do my internship right there on campus.”

Owens becomes WVU’s ninth commitment in a class that figures to go only 18 or 19 players deep.

“He’s a very long, explosive pass rusher that uses his quickness and strength to cause havoc in the backfield,” said Rivals writer Keenan Cummings of “This season will be only be his third playing organized football and his potential is through the roof as he continues to shape his skills set.”

Joe DeForest took the lead on his recruitment, with defensive line coach Erik Slaughter also being integral.

“Chalk up this commitment to the fact that West Virginia was the first to offer Owens a scholarship and, secondly, the relationship he built with DeForest and Slaughter throughout the process,” Cummings said.

Owens told The Sentinel his trip to West Virginia clinched the decision.

“The visit made me feel a lot better,” he said. “Even my mom felt a whole lot better about letting her baby go. I think mom saw how happy I was, and she felt a lot better knowing those coaches and seeing how they treated me like I was one of their own kids.”

Owens holds 21 FBS offers overall, including Wisconsin, Virginia, Cincinnati, N.C. State and Marshall. Upon publicizing his destination, he sounded relieved to have the recruiting process behind him.

“It was pretty fun at first being called by coaches and having recruiters call you, but now it’s getting pretty hectic,” Owens said.

“I just want to thank God for making this possible, and I want to thank my mom for standing by me no matter what I had to do. I want to thank my family, all the coaches, and my team at Oviedo, who have been there since Day One and helped me out.”

During Owens’ breakout junior season, he led Oviedo to the Florida Class 7A state quarterfinals and an 11-2 record.

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  • cutty77

    I'd take 3 stars kids all day long. Because they are not all Hyped up,and there Best Days are ahead of them. The NFL has more 3 Star players all others combined.

  • scott

    the last DE we had from the Carribbean turned out pretty good

  • george

    you are now family...welcome!!!!!!!!!!!

  • JB

    Welcome aboard Tyree. Bring a great attitude and be a good citizen and WV will adopt you.
    Lets Go EERS

  • hailey

    Great you tube video posted when he comitted, seems like a great pick up and even better person. Hopefully we found the next Jason Pierre-Paul , raw talent that simply needs coached up to reach his max potential

  • Wemakerain

    I was hoping he would commit, I liked him from the beginning. Big tall kid with some speed that can grow into a d tackle. Another win for the good guys

  • Maxxajay

    Sounds like a very nice and great young man. A three-star now could be by the time he gets to Morgantown a four-star great selection hope he enjoys his time at WVU...I love it...

  • Big Larry


  • That guy over there

    WVU is slowly and quietly bringing in quality players....This year may be shakey but the future is very bright for WVU...

  • Sam

    Allan, nice write-up. This is the most informative synopsis of all that I have read about Tyree.

  • Grant

    Love the offer list. Definite position of need. He could be one of the most important players signed this year.

  • richard

    this guy sounds like the real deal. sounds as if his best football days are ahead of him. just what WVU needed----defensive help!!! i like the fact he sounds like he is a good solid young man with his head on straight. welcome Tyree. once a will always be a mountaineer. thanks for choosing WVU!

    • tw eagle

      this young man 'IS' the real deal . . .his family background is from the Caribbean . . .they have strong bonds with God, family, and education. . .they'll not come any better or
      loyal than this young man . . .

  • WV07

    This young man sounds like he'll be a great addition to the program.Refreshing to hear him place education high in his remarks. Welcome to a an amazing place. And for the negative Nancys out there..........we don't care so save it for your Marshall buddies