For a one-time “basketball guy,” Jayson Oweh's first visit to see a college football practice opened eyes. The Blairstown (N.J.) Blair Academy 6-foot-6, 240-pound 2018 prospect is in the heat of spring visit season as a rising name to know in New Jersey.
Oweh's first college visit of the spring was yesterday to Penn State. His first college practice experience came Thursday morning at in-state Rutgers.
“This was my first time watching a college practice, and it was exciting,” Oweh said. “I saw how intense and how fast everything is with the speed of everything. It was exciting. It lets me know that (college football) is business. It's the real deal.”
Rutgers told Oweh it likes him at both tight end and defensive end as a top player on its 2018 board. Oweh spent the majority of his visit Thursday to watch tight ends.
“Personally, I watched (special teams coordinator Vince) Okruch,” Oweh said. “He was fired up, but the guys were taking it well. … They have two main tight ends and they use them a lot. Each guy gets a lot of reps and I like that. There's a lot of opportunities if I were to go there. I didn't see them blocking as much. They were all catching passes like receivers.”
Head coach Chris Ash spoke individually with Oweh at the 50-yard line during practice, and many staff members spent time with him during the visit.
“They told me that last year wasn't a good year because they had a lot of negative guys on the team,” Oweh said. “They got rid of all those guys. They feel ready to make a 180-degree turnaround and get ready. They said I'm the future, and I'd be a big help for them if I went there.”
Oweh got an equally impact message the day before from Penn State coach James Franklin. Oweh had to leave campus before he saw a practice but will be back before the end of spring, he said.
“Penn State was great,” he said. “It was very impressive. It's big-time stuff at Penn State. Coach Franklin gave us a presentation of what the school is about. It's more than football. They rank high in a lot of stuff across the nation. I hung out with the defensive end coach and looked at some tape of how they play on defense and toured around the campus.”
Temple hosts Oweh Saturday for his next visit. Defensive line coach Jim Panagos is his primary recruiter, he said.
“He's a cool guy,” Oweh said. “He's really one with his players. I like him as a coach. He's a great mind.”