Louisville sent shockwaves through the 2023 recruiting cycle on Monday afternoon when the Cardinals landed a five-star running back commitment from 247Sports Composite Rueben Owens from El Campo High School (Texas). A Top247 top-20 rookie, Owens is the nation’s No. 1 running back in the 2023 class and the No. 2 prospect overall in the talent-rich Lone Star State.
Owens’ monstrous increase in year-over-year production saw him go from 1,511 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns as a sophomore in the fall of 2020 to 2,989 yards and 46 touchdowns in his junior campaign in the fall of 2021. Additionally, his already stellar 2020 yardage-per-carry rate of 10.79 rose again last fall, when he averaged 12.05 yards per carry.
Owens — the 2021 Texas Sports Writers Association Class 4A co-offensive player — enters his senior season with 5,308 rushing yards and 76 touchdowns, in addition to 20 receptions for 366 yards and three scores over the past two seasons.
5-foot-11, 190-pound Owens is a natural big player with home athleticism and high-volume physical ability. His increasingly impressive athletic profile includes a quartet of sub-11.00 times in the 100 meters this spring: 10.68, 10.72, 10.87 and 10.95. He won bronze for the second year in a row at the Texas Class 4A Track and Field Championships in the long jump, which saw him jump 23ft 1/4in in May. This followed his long jump 22-10 3/4 bronze medalist in May 2021.
“I love the strip and the style of play,” said 247Sports national analyst Cooper Petagna.
247Sports Southeast analyst Andrew Ivins added, “I really liked him in Battle Miami (late January)” and noted Owens’ “elite explosion” and his encouraging ability to catch the ball out of bounds. fullback in a 7-on-7 environment, valuable context for a player with a run-focused high school offense.
“Rueben Owens looked like a legit five-star running back,” Ivins said of Owens’ performance at Battle Miami. wheel and angle.”
Owens is a natural at running back, a very athletic runner with linear juice and impressive redirecting ability without gearing up. He’s especially dangerous if offered a clear north-south path to accelerate, but he’s also shown an effective nuance of second tier and open ground to string moves together and find more free space to unleash that top speed. .
Here’s more on Owens via his 247Sports scouting report, which was updated in March ahead of several of the aforementioned April and May athletic feats.
247SPORTS RESEARCH REPORT
Has the required frame with an athletic build and room to add the necessary mass. Looks and plays higher/longer than the list with an open-field gait on the longer end of the spectrum that promotes speed-building ability on the higher end.
Production went from freshman to sophomore with an obvious big play punch (10.79 ypc), then back to junior year with huge production in count stats and terrific carry rate (12.05). Speed in the field is a plus and is reflected in sophomore track times, including a 10.96 100 and a multiple in the 11.1 range. Texas Class 4A state level competitor in the long jump with a PR of 23-3 3/4.
Flashes impressive suddenness in a short area with agility to miss defenders in the hole. Doesn’t require much speed reduction when redirecting. Combine these characteristics with an impressive burst and acceleration to quickly reach the maximum speed. Shows good contact balance at the second level.
Capable pass catcher with 7 reps to 7 as a receiver, although in-game opportunities to catch the ball were limited (20 receptions in sophomore and junior). Third down skill in blitz pick-up and increased passing game reps can be developed. Vertical runner sometimes with a higher center of gravity.
At first, he looked like one of the best running backs of 2023 domestically and reinforced that in a stellar junior campaign. Projects as a major backstop that makes the difference with a potential first-round NFL Draft in the long run.
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