All gas, no brakes.
Steve Sarkisian and his coaching staff have been hard at work filling out a great 2022 class. In the process, they have managed to land their first commit in the 2023 class. On Thursday evening Rueben Owens, the "Black Unicorn" gave his pledge to Texas.
Owens is a running back from El Campo who’s widely regarded as one of the best running backs in the nation for his class. He is a four-star prospect via 247Sports rankings. Via their 2023 rankings, he’s listed as the top prospect in the state of Texas, the second-ranked running back in the nation, and overall the 26th ranked player in the country.
Even though Owens has has just completed his sophomore campaign, he has amassed as much production already as some seniors. As a freshman Owens ran for 808 yards and eight touchdowns as he was named the district Newcomer of the Year. As a sophomore, he improved by nearly double, running for 1,511 yards and 22 touchdowns on just 140 carries. He also hauled in five receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown.
On January 3rd, Owens announced a top-five of Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas A&M, via his Twitter. His decision was expected to be between the Red River schools.
The Longhorns now have a top-tier recruit to build their 2023 class around. He’s quite literally the best player in Texas for his class. This pledge serves as a massive win for the Longhorns and this red-hot staff.
Name: Reuben Owens
Position: Running Back
High School: El Campo
City, State: El Campo, TX
Three Best Traits
Early Production - Owens has the production you would like to see in a running back recruit. He could opt-out of his last two high school seasons and still enter Texas with enormous amounts of on-the-field production. In his first two seasons, he’s already totaled 2,319 yards and 30 touchdowns on the ground for El Campo. That’s prodigious. The only thing to worry about is wear and tear but he can still rack up his numbers with minimal carries as evident by his 2020 campaign.
Speed and Acceleration - Owens is lighting quick on film. Most running backs are, but on film, he just pops. While everyone else is ferociously fast, Owens is just a step ahead every single time. His speed is already at the division-one level.
Vision - For someone so young, Owens has an impressive vision in terms of finding the correct hole to run through. If it’s there, he’s already gone. If the hole isn’t there immediately, he will be patient and find one. This is something that should get better with more reps and experience but Owens already shows elite-level vision early in his career.
Areas for Improvement
Receiving Threat - Owens has yet to show the ability of an elite pass-catcher out of the backfield. Granted he is still very young, but with his vision and speed he should be able to take most screen passes the distance. There’s no doubt this is something he will improve on upon his arrival, it’s just not there yet.
Size - Owens currently stands at 5’11 187-pounds. He’s a bit on the shorter side compared to the other top backs in his class, but he makes up for it with his sheer speed. Nonetheless, he’s still very young and has time to build out his frame.
Owens is a tremendous talent for someone so young and just getting started in their high school career. He’s already the focal point of the El Campo offense, and now he’s the focal point for the Texas recruiting class of 2023. Owens is an elusive, quick running back with tons of potential. He’s already one of the best at his position in the country and his ceiling is still through the roof.
There’s really nothing more to say than wow. When the question seemed to be who’s next for the class of 2022, the Longhorns go ahead and get started in 2023 in a big way. Texas landed the best running back in the nation in Bijan Robinson for the class of 2020. If Owens can continue to improve over the years he could follow that mold beautifully. Over the past month Texas has landed a five-star quarterback in Maalik Murphy, a couple of near five-star talents in Evan Stewart and Jaydon Blue, and now they land the best player in the state for 2023 in Rueben Owens. This staff is scorching hot and it doesn’t look as if they’re cooling down anytime soon.