Rameses Owens in perfect position to succeed

Chris Mueller, Sports Editor

True freshman running back Rameses Owens has had a rather impressive rookie campaign for Robert Morris this season.

Despite the offensive woes, Owens’ start to his career was a little more successful than the unit as a whole. There may be a few question marks regarding the offense next year, but the running back spot isn’t one of them.

Owens compiled 562 yards on 128 carries in seven games of action. He’s broke the 100-yard mark twice, nearly surpassing 200 yards in a breakout Week 2 performance against North Dakota. Not many players on the Robert Morris offense have been put in the best position to play well this season. That didn’t matter in Owens’ case.

He plays beyond his years. A part of that could be who he’s learning from.

“One thing I like about [Rameses] is that he hits it. He’s not one of those backs that’s too patient,” his position coach Myles Russ said. “Once he sees the hole, he goes.”

Russ was a former standout at running back for Robert Morris, most noticeably leading the Colonials to a 2010 Northeast Conference championship and FCS playoff berth. He’s in his third season as an assistant coach, and is the fourth all-time rusher in NEC history.

“[Rameses] is a very confident kid that’s humbled as well. It kind of reminds me of myself in that particular part,” said Russ.

Quite a comparison coming from someone with 4,651 all-purpose yards for his career.

Owens has been shut down since the CCSU game with a knee injury. It’s nothing too serious, more precautionary than anything due to his vast amount of potential. He contains all of the necessary traits of an every-down back, and could very possibly grow into that in the near future.

“Our offense is really going to rely on him a lot more in the next few years, and as we build on that and get more guys in, it’s going to be good,” Russ said. “I’m very excited about this team for the future.”

Standing at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Owens has the speed to break it outside, yet is big enough to run a defender over.

An area he’s working on is ball security. He’s fumbled seven times this season, including three times against Monmouth. It’s certainly a correctable problem, and one that Russ feels will improve with continued experience and growth as a back.

“I was kind of worried on him sometimes and him being so tall. But he’s starting to run a lot lower. He’s gotten into a good groove,” Russ said. “Him being so long and not being as strong, that’s part of the reason for him fumbling. It’s kind of hard for him to hold on to the ball. I think once he gets bigger and stronger he’ll get a lot better with that.”

It will be a scary sight to see hia progression after an entire offseason in a Division I weight training program, at least to opposing defensive coordinators. It’ll definitely help continue his improvement as a back.

With three more years to grow, Owens is poised to follow in his position coach’s footsteps.