Florida A&M University redshirt junior running back James “BJ” Owens has come a very long way in his short football career.
Owens, a third-year criminal justice student from Apopka, Fla., is finally getting a chance to break out and show his talent. He stands 5’9” and weighs 185 lbs. He came to FAMU as a walk on.
When Owens made the team his freshman year, he was a corner back. He did well in the kick return game finishing the season with 450 kick return yards, including 100 against South Carolina State. After a promising spring, he was declared academically for his sophomore season.
This was a setback for Owens. According to FAMU Sports Information, he said he disappointed his family and wanted to make them proud again this year.
Owens’ father, who shares the exact same name, attended Saturday’s game. This was the first time the elder Owens watched his son play college football.
“From the first football game that I had ever watched my son play in, he played as if he had already played before,” said his father,
Owens’ best game as a Rattler was in the home opener against Hampton last Saturday. Owens rushed for 157 yards on 11 carries and scored three touchdowns. He also had a reception for eight yards and four kick returns for 117 yards.
Owens father said the best trait his son has is determination. They both explained that as a child playing football for the younger Owens was tough because he was always was looked down upon because of his smaller size. But his motto as a child was, “They measure my height, they measure my weight, but they never measure my heart.”
Owens said his future goals are still being determined. If he doesn’t make it to the NFL, he would like to become a corrections officer.
Owens said his biggest inspirations are God and his son Jayden. James said both give him drive and determination, and without them, he wouldn’t be where he is today.
“I am a full-time dad; I have one son who is 11 months old and he’s my everything,” said Owens.
Head football coach Joe Taylor said he was proud of Owens. He said he’s been working very hard.
“I’m really happy for him,” said Taylor. “He is a legitimate 4.3 (Owens’ 40-yard dash time).”
Owens’ goals for this season is to get over 1000 all-purpose yards and to help his team make it to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs. Owens said his strengths are being a leader, working hard, and having a positive attitude. He admitted that he gets lazy at times and loses his focus, but through it all, he puts God first.