Peters Township High School quarterback Cory Owen attended the University of Toledo’s elite junior day with 15 other athletes Feb. 1 and did not leave empty-handed.
Owen, a 6-2 junior on the Indians’ football team, received his first Division I scholarship offer from Rockets head coach Matt Campbell.
“It’s definitely a good feeling to finally get the first offer,” Owen said. “The biggest part of recruiting is to finally get that first offer. I’m definitely hoping for a lot more as my senior season gets closer.”
Toledo, which runs a spread, hurry-up offense, is recruiting Owen to play quarterback, and it’s not the only school keeping an eye on Owen as he prepares for his final season at Peters Township. Northwestern, Boston College, Temple and Pitt have visited McMurray to meet Owen and Indians head coach Rich Piccinini. Owen also visited Pitt’s campus Saturday afternoon, when he attended the men’s basketball win over Virginia Tech.
While the Panthers want Owen to play defense, the majority of coaches are looking for him to play quarterback.
Who can blame them? As college football offenses transform from pocket-passing quarterbacks to athletic players with the ability to run, Owen fits the latter mold.
Last season, Owen passed for 501 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 762 yards and 10 scores.
“I think the other players know what he brings,” Piccinini said. “He has that big-play capability. He has been around so long that he knows the calls inside and out. If I make a mistake on a call, he can correct it in the huddle.”
Owen made his first visit to Toledo in October, when the Rockets hosted Navy. He did not know what to expect when he attended their junior day but is pleased with the outcome. While some coaches doubt his ability to play quarterback for a major-college program, Owen is confident in his abilities.
“I’ve been playing quarterback since midget league, and I definitely think I can be successful at the next level,” Owen said. “I think it’s helpful that (the Southeastern) is always a tough conference. Playing in the other classifications would not be as competitive. I’ve played against great players. It has prepared me for college football and the future.”
Owen is not allowing the excitement of his first Division I offer to sidetrack him from the task at hand. Peters Township is looking to improve on a 5-5 season that ended with a first-round playoff loss to McKeesport. While some college coaches question his lack of passing statistics, his sole concern is winning football games for the Indians.
“I don’t have any personal goals, but if my stats add up to something great, awesome,” he said. “If they don’t help the team, then obviously it’s not going to matter.”