Georgia News: Jeff Owens Will Return for Senior Season

Kit KitchensCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2008

Per David Hale, defensive tackle Jeff Owens announced today after bowl practice that he will be returning for his senior season.

The announcement does come as somewhat of a shock as most of those that cover UGA football had him leaning towards leaving for the NFL even though he tore his ACL in the first game of the season against Georgia Southern. Since then, Owens has been aggressively rehabbing his knee in preparation for the offseason, or possibly the NFL Draft.

In the interview, Owens also stated that Coach Rodney Garner, the UGA defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator, told Owens that he would be staying with UGA through next year. This is also a huge plus as Garner was rumored to be in the running for a possible defensive coordinator position with the Auburn Tigers, along with being associated with vacated head coaching jobs across the nation.

This is all good news for UGA as they look to retool their defense next season to get more pressure on the quarterback and do better against the run. With Owens back in the lineup, UGA will have Owens, Kade Weston and Geno Atkins anchoring the defensive tackle positions.

To me, I was actually surprised that Owens was even considering the leap. He was good, but nowhere near good enough for someone to draft him high when he had a bum knee. In order to go even on the first day, he'd have to work out at the combine, and that's still a pipe dream. I'm glad he's decided to come back, but if you're asking me, I think he was more forced to than anything else.
Either way, I'm excited. Having Owens, Atkins and Weston rotating in and out with Tyson providing a good backup role will do wonders for us. Now if we could just work on that defensive end problem we're having...
Until next time kids.

Be safe.

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