March 8, 2008

Spring break for Owens

Georgia defensive tackle Jeff Owens is getting ready for a road trip.

There's nothing unusual about that. It's Spring Break time at the University of Georgia, and like thousands of other students, Owens is getting out of town for a week's worth of R&R before spring practice resumes March 17.

"I'm going to Josh's (offensive lineman Josh Davis) house. He lives in Mississippi (Jayess, Miss.) and he has a sister that lives in Houston," Owens said. "We're going to stay with her."

Does she look good?

"Don't know, never seen her," Owens laughed.

The Sunrise, Fla. native has other side-trips in mind as well. After stopping in Baton Rouge to see some friends, Owens plans on driving to the University of Texas in Austin to see another bud.

Owens said he's already got his wardrobe picked out for the trip.

"I'll be out there representing Georgia, I'm a Georgia guy now," Owens said. "I'll be wearing all my Georgianalia. I'll represent."

Other than that, he hopes to do some fishing; a bunch of fishing.

"I'm going to do a lot of fishing," he said. "Josh has a catfish pond."

Owens went casting for bigger fish during practice this week when he tried to reel in Knowshon Moreno. His attempt came during a scrimmage when Moreno took a screen pass and turned upfield for a 50-yard play. Owens, word has it, was relatively close behind with his pursuit.

This fact was confirmed by head coach Mark Richt who bragged that Owens was actually in the same frame when the practice film was later broken down.

"He was actually pretty close," Richt said. "He was in the picture, and about had a hand on him. It was a great effort."

Owens smiled:

"I think I should have caught him. I saw it was a screen play, so I just took off running downfield," he said. "Knowshon was juking and jiving so I knew that I could get him. He finally ran 50 yards and I just touched him a little bit just to let him know that I was there. I had to let him know it wasn't going to be that easy."

Owens laughed that keeping up with Moreno's mouth was almost as difficult as staying up with his legs.

"With Knowshon, words are always being exchanged, no matter what. That's Knowshon," Owens said. He's that type of guy. He's always hyped up, his fire never stops. He's always talking to you. With Knowshon, you better bring your A-game."

Kidding aside, the fact that Owens would even consider chasing down Moreno is a testament to just how hard the players are willing to work.

Competition, he said, is incredibly fierce.

"We're all out there competing. Spring practice is the time when guys are fighting for starting jobs, other guys are trying to get looked while other guys have never been seen before," Owens said. "The guys who redshirted last year want to get their names out there."

That includes members of Georgia's defensive line.

Although the position is relatively thin, it's arguably the most experienced spot on the Bulldog team with Owens, Kade Weston and Geno Atkins having either been on the team for three years or are approaching their third year with the squad. Even the seldom-used Ricardo Crawford is going through his third spring practice, while Corvey Irvin is a senior after signing with the Bulldogs out of Georgia Military College. Freshman DeAngelo Tyson and A.J. Harmon will join the team come August.

"We don't have that much depth right now but we've got a bunch of experience," Owens said. "Everybody pretty much knows what they're doing out there.
"We haven't even gone over any plays yet. Coach (Rodney Garner) just calls them and we run them. We already know what to expect," he said. "We know what's going to happen. We know the blocking scheme. This is an experienced defensive line."

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