Orlando is becoming a special place for Miami Norland wide receiver Dareen Owi.
The senior received an offer from UCF last week and followed that up with a state-title victory at the Florida Citrus Bowl on Friday, as Norland defeated Crawfordville Wakulla 38-0 to win the 5A state championship.
“It’s a dream come true,” Owi said following the victory. “Last year, we got here but we fell short. This year, our goal since summer time was state. Not to get to state, but to win it. We got here and we’re state champions.”
Owi (6-3, 190) led Norland in receiving, catching four passes for 69 yards. The Vikings lost in the state title game to Tampa Jefferson last season.
“When you’re tired running wind sprints or last reps in the weight room or any workout, you think about that last year’s loss,” Owi said. “It just drives you even more to be the best.”
With the win, Owi said he thinks his recruitment will pick up. He currently has offers from UCF, Purdue, Bowling Green and Buffalo.
“I expect to have more offers, as well as my other teammates who haven’t been looked at as much,” he said. "After this game, we expect to have some more calls.”
With the offers he currently has, UCF appears to be one of Owi’s favorites.
“The offer came about last week. It means a lot to me because my brother went to UCF, so we’re familiar with it,” said Owi, who is being recruited by UCF tight ends coach Tim Salem. “It’s a great school, I really like it. It’s a good school to consider right now. If everything works out for the best, who knows.”
He added: “They’re in the Big East now and they’re a few players away from really making a splash.”
Owi visited Purdue in October—a trip that he said he enjoyed—and is planning on taking an official visit to UCF on Jan. 13.
Brendan Sonnone is the Sentinel's recruiting correspondent and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.