Peters Township senior quarterback Cory Owen has become all too familiar with taking road trips.
Owen, who is one of the top quarterbacks in the state according to Pennsylvania Preps, has visited Toledo, Bowling Green, Penn State, Pitt and most recently, James Madison.
With scholarship offers from Toledo, Buffalo, Albany, New Hampshire and James Madison; the 6-2 athlete is fielding interest and narrowing his options.
After accumulating 1,263 total yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior, Owen has risen up recruiting boards with the same quickness as his 4.5 second 40-yard dash time. More than 50 college coaches visited the high school this spring to meet with Owen and other PT senior football players. The speedy athlete was the main attraction.
During the spring, he spent his after-school hours throwing for college coaches. Now, his preparation for the WPIAL football season has been balanced with visiting campuses across the region.
And Owen loves every second of it.
“It’s really fun. Meeting all these coaches and seeing the campuses, you find out a lot of stuff that you didn’t know,” Owen said. “It’s all gone well and the new season is coming up so I am looking forward to visiting even more schools then.”
The Indians’ three-year starter at quarterback picked up his first scholarship offer from Toledo in early February and the interest has continued to build. Some coaches see Owen’s intangibles as a fit at wide receiver or safety instead of quarterback.
While a few programs believe he’s their answer to the new high-tempo offenses in college football, others doubt Owen’s ability to make throws from the pocket.
The one man who has stood firm on his belief in Owen’s ability as a quarterback is Peters Township head coach Rich Piccinini, who called his QB a “steal” for any school wanting a playmaker at the position.
“When he gets the ball in his hands, he can score at any time and he can make things happen at all times,” Piccinini said. “I think things revolve around him offensively. We obviously want the ball in our best player’s hands.”
Since his junior season ended, Owen’s mailbox has been bombarded with letters from prospective college coaches. As he toured five college campuses this summer, his mind was focused on his future and the upcoming season.
Each college football program offers a small number of quarterbacks scholarships during the offseason. As players commit to schools or narrow their choices, coaches begin to explore other options. Owen is hoping a spot in the 2015 recruiting class opens when a team loses a prospective quarterback.
Owen’s plan has been to visit as many schools as possible before the Indians start camp Aug. 11, when he will shift his focus to making the Indians a contender in Class AAAA.
“That’s why I’m trying to get out to all of the schools I haven’t visited because my senior season is coming up and time is running down,” Owen said. “I want to make sure I hit all of these places as best as I can before the season starts. The season can get pretty busy so I want to get most of it done now.”
Owen does not have a timetable for making a decision, but he expects the process to extend through the season.
“Coaches are still contacting me and we still have a full season in which I think he’s going to shine as a senior,” Piccinini said. “I tell colleges that he is going to be a steal. Maybe I’m biased, but I think he’s one of the best athletes in the WPIAL.”
Knetzer to Waynesburg
Addy Knetzer of Chartiers-Houston will play basketball and throw on Waynesburg University’s track & field team.
Kentzer was an Observer-Reporter Third Team All-District selection after averaging 15.3 points per game for the Bucs’ girls basketball team this winter.
She followed the performance by qualifying for the PIAA Track & Field Championships in May, placing second in the Class AA shot put with a toss of 42-4 3/4 inches.
Rideout to Marietta
Canon-McMillan’s Alec Rideout will attend Marietta College in Ohio. He will play football and throw on the Pioneers’ track team.
Rideout played linebacker for the Big Macs and qualified for the PIAA Track & Field Championships in both the discus and shot put. set He set a personal and school record at the Washington-Greene County Coaches Championships with a throw of 185-11 in the discus.
Rideout took third in the discus at the state championship meet and fifth in the shot put.