Garrett Owens, the Arroyo Grande High kicker who nailed a 57-yard field goal last fall and helped carry his Eagles to a division title, decided Tuesday night to de-commit from Air Force and agreed to a scholarship offer with Oregon State.
Owens said he wanted to attend a college where he can develop his skills to eventually play in the NFL. At Oregon State, special teams coordinator Bruce Read, who had tenures with Dallas, San Diego and the New York Giants, will coach Owens.
“One of the big things for me was I wasn’t for sure I would be 100 percent committed to Air Force,” Owens said. “It was a hard decision for me to do that if I wasn’t 100.”
His decision was also influenced after last weekend’s visit to Cal, which ended up not making an offer to Owens. That’s when Oregon State, which made an offer three weeks ago, came back into the recruiting picture. He liked the fact that the Beavers compete in the Pac-12 and that Oregon State in Corvallis is closer to home than Air Force, which is located in Colorado Springs, Colo.
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“My head was kind of scrambling. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” Owens said about the recruiting process. “I didn’t know what my priorities were. When Cal didn’t offer me, I started thinking about Oregon State.”
Owens committed to Air Force last August — well before Arroyo Grande went on to finish 13-1 overall and captured the CIF-Southern Section Western Division title.
At Oregon State, he will join Arroyo Grande quarterback Brent VanderVeen and lineman Garrett Weinreich. The trio are expected to sign National Letters of Intent to play for the Beavers today for National Signing Day. Owens said having familiar faces at Oregon State was a plus, but it wasn’t the deciding factor. He wanted to go somewhere he can work toward a pro career.
Owens will go to Oregon State on a grayshirt scholarship, which means he will sit out next season. He will not enroll with the school until January 2013, though there might be a chance for him to play sooner if space opens up in the fall.
“I can play where my family and friends can come see me and I can come home more often,” Owens said.