Originally Published: Jan 26, 2010 10:33 PM CDTKyle Dierking
TULSA, Oklahoma -- There's a reason why he's now bearing Tulsa blue. Sure, it’s a fresh start and a new school, but he’s mainly here because he has thoughts of his mother.
"She's been sick my whole life, basically, so you just have to put everything in God's hands," said Jameel Owens.
Owens' mother has dealt with diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problems. He says it’s the reason why he transferred from the University of Oklahoma to Tulsa.
"I sat down and had a talk with my mother and it was best for me to get closer to her and get closer to home in case anything goes wrong, I'm right there with her," Owens said.
It was just two years ago when Owens was one of the most sought after wide receiver prospects in the country. He was a top 50 player nationally, an Army All-American and the number one player in the state.
The expectations were unbelievably high. Now he says it’s time to live up to them.
"That's what I want - that would be a dream come true - to come out here and prove to everybody that I still can play. It wasn't a fluke in high school,” Owens said. “I still have the ability to play."
Owens appeared in nine games as a true freshman on Oklahoma’s Big 12 Championship team, catching four passes for 44 yards. Owens redshirted last season and transferred to TU in December.
Transfers normally have to sit out a season, but Owens is going through the hardship waiver process with the NCAA so he can play immediately.
"You do have regrets and think, 'I could have done this, I could have done that,' but hey you learn from your mistakes,” Owens said. “I thank coach Stoops for giving me the opportunity to be a part of his team, but coach Graham has given me another opportunity and I'm going to take advantage of it."
Owens still feels the pressure, but today the burden is a little easier to carry.
"I don't so much feel the pressure of being number one, but I feel the pressure of to live up to what I was in high school,” Owens said. "Everybody else expected me to be this and that but I'm just out here for me and my family."
Perhaps there's been no better motivator than his mother.
"You can't tell by the smile she keeps on her face, so as long as she's got a smile on her face, I've got a smile on mine."
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