The surge towards bringing back the real ‘DBU’ took some additional measures on Wednesday as the Texas Longhorns signed another talented defensive back class. Among that bunch is four-star Plano East safety Tyler Owens, who officially inked his National Letter of Intent with the Texas Longhorns on Wednesday.
After receiving an offer back in July, Owens committed to Texas within the following months on September 24. Owens chose Texas over schools such as Baylor, Houston, Missouri, Nebraska, and UCLA. After finally notching that offer, Owens had a strong feeling that Austin was the place to be.
“I just didn’t want to miss out on a great opportunity to be a part of Texas and their long line of great defensive backs,” Owens previously told Burnt Orange Nation’s Joe Hamilton of his decision to side with Texas. “The coaches, they’re not all about football” Owens said. “It’s like a family. They work on creating a great bond with their players.”
After an impressive senior season, Owens has surged up the recruiting rankings. He is now ranked as the nation’s No. 197 prospect and No. 27 player in the state, per the 247Sports Composite.
Standing at 6’2, 202 pounds, Owens has the traits to fit right in at safety with the ability to transform into a hybrid outside linebacker in Texas’ Lighting Dime package if necessary, as detailed by Burnt Orange Nation’s Joe Hamilton.
“Owens has the versatility to play any position on the back-end of the defense and has the frame to potentially grow into an outside linebacker. He possesses striking speed and has that headhunter mentality when recognizing where the play is going.”
With striking speed and pursuit to the ball, Owens fits nicely with the numerous blitz packages defensive coordinator Todd Orlando utilizes. Freshman B.J. Foster excelled in a run-blitzing role this season. While Owens doesn’t possess the elite speed and ball skills that Foster has, he could be used in a similar role to that of Foster.
Hamilton also noted, “Something else that stands out about Owens game is that he’s able to move in space exceptionally well while reading the quarterbacks eyes. Quarterbacks at the high school level are intimidated by Owens presence and shy away from throwing the ball his way because of the amount of ground he covers in a hurry.”
The coaching staff envisions Owens playing at safety or the joker position once he touches the field. Although Texas brought in a heavy defensive back class during last year’s recruiting cycle, Owens sees himself competing and playing with a loaded secondary.
“I definitely can see myself getting in that mix,” Owens told BON. “Coach [Craig] Naivar was explaining to me how all of the guys in the secondary rotate and how they have six defensive backs on the field at times. It’s real smooth how they all work in.”
Last recruiting cycle the Longhorns signed a defensive back class that included Caden Sterns, B.J. Foster, Anthony Cook, DeMarvion Overshown, and Jalen Green. After signing arguably the nation’s top defensive back group last year, the Longhorns followed that up with another talented defensive back haul. Owens joins defensive backs Kenyatta Watson, Chris Adimora, and Marques Caldwell as the four defensive backs to sign early.
With such a vast collection of talent coming to and already occupying the Forty Acres, playing time one come easily, but with a season or two to develop further, Owens could emerge as a key figure in Texas’ secondary in time for the 2020 or 2021 campaigns.