TAMPA, Fla. - St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. committed to Florida State back in December, but that isn't keeping him from looking at other schools.
"I am committed but still open," Fowler said. "I am just going to go around and look at some schools."
On Saturday, he went and checked out another school when he traveled to the University of South Florida in nearby Tampa.
"It was good getting to meet with the coaching staff because I hadn't talked to them in a long time," Fowler said. "When I got there I got to talk to Coach (Skip) Holtz for like half an hour. It was a real good talk. I spent time with the defensive line coach and more of the coaches at the basketball game. So it was a real good visit."
The 6-foot-3, 239-pound defensive end said that the message he received from the Bulls' coaching staff was simple and isn't something he will quickly forget.
"What I learned is that USF is close to home and to never forget about my hometown," Fowler said. "I am always going to keep USF on my list. It was nice being around the coaches because it is like a family there."
South Florida wasn't Fowler's first Junior Day trip this spring. Two weeks ago he made his way up to Tallahassee to check out Florida State.
"It was real good," Fowler said. "I got to talk to all of the coaches. I got to spend a lot of time with D.J. Eliot. We sat down and watched film. I got to see some of the people from my class that committed, like Chris Casher. I got to see the campus and talk to other people. It was real good."
The Rivals250 to watch prospect has developed a good relationship with his future position coach at Florida State.
"Coach Eliot is a real good coach," Fowler said. "He is a real energetic coach. He keeps it real with you. He wants you to go get the quarterback and that is what I love to do."
Florida State and South Florida are far from the only schools in the picture for Fowler. This past week, Fowler's offer list swelled by one when the Southern Cal Trojans extended a verbal offer.
"I was real happy when USC offered me, that was an honor," Fowler said. "I am going to keep a close eye on them. I am going to try to go to one of their camps during the summer, so we will see how that goes. I am going to keep in contact with the coaches because I got to talk to them on the phone and they seem like some really cool coaches, especially Coach (Lane) Kiffin, Monte Kiffin, and Coach O (Ed Orgeron)."
In the coming weeks Fowler will participate with Team Tampa in 7-on-7 events while also training for camps and combines. His next Junior Day visit will likely be to the University of Florida in March.
Off the field, he is doing prep work for the SAT and ACT.