Chad Owens is Centurians #9

About how his Progress Report forced him to miss his first JV game for Roosevelt High School, Chad Owens said:
“I was getting an ‘F’ in history class and I couldn’t play. At first, I was upset with my history teacher, but after we lost that game and I thought about it, I had nobody to blame but myself. I went back and apologized to my teacher and from then on, I said grades would never make me miss another football game again.” (HSB)

About why Owens (who is 5’7″) was overlooked by D-I recruiters but he knew Owens would be successful at the D-I level, Lester Parilla, his high school coach said:
“You could tell with the way he moved and the way he ran and the work ethic he had he was something special. It was a diamond in the rough thing. He was just lacking the size.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Owens had his mind set on playing at Linfield (Ore.) College when his good buddy, Chad Kapanui, got a chance to work out for Hawaii coaches June Jones and Ron Lee. Kapanui needed someone to throw to and Owens happily obliged. With the head coach of the hometown school looking on, Owens knew this was his only chance.”

About the importance of his work out for JJ and Ron Lee, Owens said:
“I was out there trying to put on a show, because this was my shot. We were back there behind the scoreboard (of Roosevelt Stadium) where there’s not much grass, mostly dirt, and I was diving on the ground trying to catch everything. I don’t think I dropped a pass.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Owens was one of the last people added to the summer roster as a walk-on. But as he practiced with guys like Ashley Lelie, Craig Stutzmann and Nate Jackson, he quickly realized the future in front of him.”

About how practicing with UH’s players gave him confidence, Owens said:
“I was rolling with all these big names and I was able to make plays. Immediately, I had the confidence.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “A redshirt freshman, Owens saw sporadic time at the end of games as a slotback. Where he was given the opportunity to shine was as a returner, and nobody did it better. He added a 76-yard punt return for a score against the Cougars, and by the time Hawaii was done rolling up the most points BYU has allowed in a game, Owens had set an NCAA record with 342 return yards.”

About his NCAA-record 342 return yards against BYU, Owens said:
“You can’t say enough about that game. We dominated everywhere and for me to do that against an undefeated BYU team, it was amazing.” (HSB)

About the challenge he had during his senior year at UH, Owens said:
“I’ll be honest, as a college football player, your goal is to win a conference title and then after that, it’s to go to the next level and play in the NFL. I established myself as a player at the University of Hawaii, and now it was time to prove it at the next level. That was the new question I faced every day, so I did everything I could to be the best every single day.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “It started with a 66-yard punt return for a touchdown against Tulsa. A week later, he did it again, taking a punt 75 yards for a score against Nevada. Both were home games and, with every Saturday, the chants became louder. He made it three games in a row at Aloha Stadium with a punt return TD, going 71 yards against San Jose State. But the streak was snapped against Idaho, and Hawaii was 5-5 needing wins against Big Ten teams Northwestern and Michigan State to clinch a spot in a bowl game. That’s when the unbelievable happened.”

About his returns against Northwestern, Owens said:
“I just remember the crowd’s energy. I could feel it, they could feel it, I felt like I was going to score every time.” (HSB)

About how Northwestern’s punter almost stopped him from scoring, Owens said:
“I tripped and I was like, ‘Oh no, I can’t get tackled by a punter.’ I just kept pumping my feet and my teammates came and hit him and I broke the tackle and was off.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “He made it into the end zone for one of his five touchdowns in the game, tying a UH record. He added four more receiving TDs a week later in a win over the Spartans, helping the Warriors clinch a Hawaii Bowl berth against UAB. He returned a fifth punt for a score against the Blazers, setting an NCAA record for one season and helping the Warriors win their second straight Hawaii Bowl. His 22 touchdowns as a senior? Second in the nation to Memphis running back DeAngelo Williams.”

HSB Note: “HE WAS DRAFTED in the sixth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars and sparkled in camp. But problems holding onto the ball on punt returns cost him his spot in the NFL. Owens then played for the Colorado Crush in the Arena Football League before suffering a serious knee injury. Back home on the mend, he helped head the Hawaii Football School, a weekly class to help youth both in on-the-field performance and areas away from the game, like academics.”

About being on the practice squad of the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL, Owens talked about overcoming his knee injury:
“It’s the biggest obstacle I’ve ever had to overcome. But like my career, I have to overcome things … The greatness of a man should not be determined by his success in life, but by what he is able to overcome.” (HSB)

http://www.starbulletin.com/specialprojects/09/centurions/20090722_Many_happy_returns.html

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