Florissant, Missouri (Central) tight end Chris Owens is a name you likely would have heard a lot more often this spring if it weren't for his academics.
That is not a slight towards Owens, at all. On the phone, it is easy to sense the intelligence he holds as a young man..
Owens knows with better academics he'd likely be holding a few scholarship offers. Ask his head coach (Jon Pukala) and he'll tell you the exact same thing.
The great part about Owens is that he recognizes the work that needs to be done, and is putting in the extra work to go the further mile.
"I slacked off my freshman year, and it really hurt. I'm doing well in the classroom, right now, but my cumulative GPA was really hurt by the fact I didn't put any work in as a freshman," Owens stated.
With his GPA expected to be around a 2.5 at the end of this semester, and the fact he will take summer courses to improve upon bad grades he sustained, there appears to be no reason to believe he won't have a very good chance of becoming a qualifier.
In the time between, you can expect college coaches to be keeping close tabs.
"Coach (Cornell) Ford at Missouri called me and told me to just keep concentrating on keeping my grades up, and that I'm a guy they are real interested in. They like the fact that I'm real athletic, and their offensive scheme is built around passing a lot to their tight ends. He wants me to attend their one day camp at Wash(U) here in St. Louis, and I think I'm probably going to," Owens said.
"A coach from Michigan State called me, too, and really wants to get me up to their camp. He was an easy guy to talk to, and told me they like to use a lot of double tight ends with both being big and athletic, like myself."
"Iowa is the only camp I know I'm going to attend, right now. I'm going up there with my teammate (quarterback) Marvin McNutt, who Iowa has offered. Iowa is looking to sign two tight ends in this class, and I know they are interested in me."
"Other than that, I know Oklahoma State, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Northern Illinois are some of the programs that have came by the school asking about me."
Owens was named second team All-State tight end by the Missouri Coaches Association as a junior. In 13 games, he caught 20 receptions for 404 yards and two touchdowns.