Bijan Robinson. Jaydon Blue. Rueben Owens.
Assessing the future of the running back position for the Texas Longhorns is like staring into a lunar eclipse on Thursday evening after the commitment of 2023 El Campo standout Reuben Owens.
The Black Unicorn To Austin TX #HookEm @RuebenOwens2 @MikeWestHTX @TXStarsFootball pic.twitter.com/KXHsPcTsZO— Rueben Owens ll #BlackUnicorn (@ii_rueben) February 26, 2021
Blue, who is taking a lead in recruiting efforts across classes, teased big upcoming news and his prediction didn’t disappoint.
More news in a few hours— 23 (@JaydonBlue) February 26, 2021
In early January, the 5’11, 187-pound Owens narrowed his list to five schools — Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Texas. The Sooners were considered the favorite for a stretch last fall, but the coaching change and retention of running backs coach Stan Drayton helped get the job done for the Longhorns.
There’s no mistaking how big this is for Texas. The commitment of Owens provides even more long-term upside for the position on the Forty Acres and helps further recruiting momentum across the board while establishing it in the 2023 recruiting class with Owens becoming the first pledge in that cycle for head coach Steve Sarkisian and company.
Originally offered by Drayton in January of 2020, Owens burst onto the recruiting scene by rushing for over 800 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman. As a sophomore, Owens proved that he’s worthy all the hype, the offers, and the lofty rankings with 1,511 yards on only 140 carries and 22 touchdowns.
On film, the suddenness and acceleration of Owens really stand out — he ran an 11.71 100m last year, but he looks much faster on film in the open field and especially with his exceptional short-area quickness. Owens also shows elite jump-cut and slide-cut ability to navigate traffic and find open grass.
As he continues to add strength and work on playing behind his pads, he projects as a player who can work through contact like Blue does currently. There’s no question that Owens shows flashes of that type of physicality, including with a big hit on special teams. And right now, he’s so quick that defenders have a difficult time even putting solid hits on him.
In an attempt to avoid using too many cliches, let’s just say that the Steve Sarkisian era is rapidly gaining high-level momentum and not showing any signs of showing down, especially with offensive skill position players.
Now it’s only a matter of time before the big guys in the trenches start deciding that they want to block for running backs like Robinson, Blue, and Owens.