OSU football: Healthy Jarrell Owens ‘ready for action’ in Cowboys’ stacked D-line
STILLWATER — Jarrell Owens couldn't offer a number. He knew only that it was below 100.
Owens, a senior defensive end on the Oklahoma State football team, was referring to his percentage of health last season. Hampered with a shoulder injury, Owens managed to play in the Cowboys' 13 games, but started none of them a season after starting 12.
“It was tough,” Owens said. “I was pushing all I could, but physically, I couldn't play 100 percent.”
Owens managed six tackles, three of them for loss, but it was a steep drop from his 25-tackle campaign as a sophomore.
He also dealt with injuries throughout fall camp leading up to the 2017 season, but this time around, as he gets set to fight for playing time in what is possibly OSU's deepest position group, Owens is ready to go.
“I feel like now I'm 100 percent,” he said. “I'm ready for action now.”
Owens is one of the Cowboys' three fifth-year senior defensive ends. One of them, Cole Walterscheid, leads OSU's defense with 21 career starts and figures to extend that streak when the Cowboys begin their season Aug. 30 against Missouri State.
Owens is likely competing with redshirt junior Jordan Brailford to start at the opposite end of the line. Junior college transfer Mike Scott could prove to be an impact player, as well.
Inside, a trio of seniors in Darrion Daniels, Trey Carter and Enoch Smith Jr. should be the focal point of the rotation. Three of them combined for 42 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 2017.
“It's a lot of guys we can shuffle in and out without losing a beat,” Brailford said. “That's always nice to have later in the season when guys get banged up and you can trust the guy behind them."
Despite the veteran depth of the defensive line, there remains plenty to be determined.
"I feel like we're still finding out who guys are,” Brailford said. “We're going to have some up-and-down days middle of camp, but a lot of guys have a lot of potential.”
Owens is among those whose potential is yet to be explored. After getting a taste of his talent as a sophomore, the Cowboys saw a reduced version his junior year.
With one season left, Owens is ready to attack it at 100 percent.
“It's a big difference,” he said. “I feel like I can bring speed and power and a good edge rush to this defense.”