Michigan has made no secret of its desire to replenish its stock of downhill rushers in the coming years. Brady Hoke & company appear well on their way to doing that thanks to the commitment of Warren (OH) Howland standout, DeVeon Smith and their strong standing with the nation’s top rusher, Derrick Green. Obviously, though, their pursuit of running back talent won’t end with their 2013 haul. They’ll likely be on the prowl each year for more talented options at the position. One of the 2014 prospects that they’ve already put out initial feelers on is Westville (NJ) West Deptford star, Gerald Owens.
“They sent me a couple of things in the mail, but I haven’t personally talked to the coaches yet,” said Owens. “But it’s a school I’d not to hear more from, not only because they’re high profile but also because my older brother would love me to go there and one of my best friends’ dad would love me to go there. They're big fans”
Contact with the Wolverines may be in its infancy, but it would come as no surprise if that interest growsthe coming months. Owens is the proverbial power back... one that ran for over 1,700 yards and 26 touchdowns on 212 carries last season. That includes a 216-yard, five-touchdown performance in the state championship game. His size and punishing style have already caught the attention of a number of other high major programs, some of whom have already offered scholarships.
“I’m a big, physical running back,” Owens said confidently. “I don’t have (elite) speed, but I do have enough speed to get away from tacklers. I’m 6-2, 240, I run a 4.6, and I love contact. I play on both sides of the ball. I play d-end on defense and I play fullback in the wing-t on offense. I’m a physical player. I love the game of football! I love contact, I love hitting… I love everything about football.”
“Right now I have offers from Wisconsin, Temple, Rutgers, and Boston College… but I’ve been in contact with Ohio State Penn State, and I’ve talked to Nebraska. I’ve also been contacted by Notre Dame Alabama and a few other schools. A lot schools are sending me mail.”
Owens is also credited with a verbal offer from South Carolina, further demonstrating the variance in offensive styles of the schools pursuing him. While Owens makes no Bones about which one he prefers, he insists that it won’t preclude him from giving each of his suitors a strong look.
“I’m going to be looking for a particular style… a pro,” he stated. “I don’t know much about Michigan, but I like their style of play. I like their offense. But in the end if I get an offer (from a school) and I like it there because of the academics and I feel comfortable there, I’m going to make that choice. I’d like to pick a school first by the academics because football does not last forever. I’d like to get a great education. If I don’t make it to the NFL I would love to have a degree to fall back on so I can go out and get a job in the real world.”
The talented youngster hasn’t developed a list of favorites yet, but that’s largely because he hasn’t visited many college campuses yet. That’s something he plans to begin doing in earnest in the New Year in hopes of meeting his desired timeline for picking a school.
“I’m trying to get (a decision made) before my senior season, but if not by the beginning of my senior season, during my senior season,” he explained. “We haven’t sat down and planned that out yet, but my dad doesn’t want me to wait too long for my decision.”
“(The final choice) is going to come down to if I am comfortable at the school because I have to live there four to five years. Distance isn’t really a factor anymore. At first it was, but now it’s not because it’s wherever God will lead me… so I don’t really care about the distance. Nothing else (matters) really. I just want a great education that I can use after my college career is over.”