Cowart still has UF atop his leaderboard. (Photo by Zach Abolverdi/The Gainesville Sun)

ORLANDO — A five-star prospect competed in Saturday’s Class 6A state championship game, and his name wasn’t Dalvin Cook or Da’Vante Phillips of Miami Central.

Seffner Armwood’s Byron Cowart debuted last week at No. 4 nationally in the first Rivals100 ranking for the class of 2015.

“It’s one of my goals, but I try not to look into it because that’s how guys get cocky. I try to just stay humble,” said the nation’s top-ranked strongside defensive end.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Cowart hopes to reach the No. 1 spot in the future by putting on more pounds, but Saturday’s 52-7 loss weighed more heavily on his shoulders.

“Me being that highly ranked and getting beat like this, that’s the only thing that affects me,” he said. “I feel like the guy on the team that could have made more plays.”

Cowart named Florida his leader at Friday Night Lights, and the Gators still hold the top spot despite their 4-8 season in 2013.

“Just coach (Brad) Lawing and the defense. I feel like I’m home there. I like coach (Will) Muschamp,” Cowart said when asked why UF is his favorite.

“Everybody has ups and downs. That’s the first time they’ve been down like that, and every team goes through it.”

Cowart named Alabama, Auburn and Georgia as the biggest threats to Florida. He plans to announce his commitment at the Under Armour All-American Game in 2015 after taking his five official visits.

He will base his decision on the following factors.

“If I feel home there,” Cowart said, “and if they have everything that I need to be successful.”

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