2012 NFL Draft: Stanford WR Chris Owusu Should Just Say No to the NFL

Peter ChenContributor IIIFebruary 24, 2012

CORVALLIS, OR - NOVEMBER 5: Trainers work on wide receiver Chris Owusu #81 of the Stanford Cardinal on November 5, 2011 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon. Owusu was taken off the field via ambulance. (Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images)
Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images

Stanford football is gearing up for spring practice, which begins next week. Meanwhile, senior WR Chris Owusu is gearing up for the NFL. 

When most of us last saw Owusu in action, in November 2011, he was laid out on the turf with a scary-looking concussion against Oregon State at Reser Stadium. 

Owusu donned a Stanford uniform twice after that injury. He suited up for the Cardinal’s season finale three weeks later against Notre Dame and was actually on the field for the final “victory formation” snap in Stanford’s 28-14 win. 

He then suited up at the Fiesta Bowl on January 2 but did not see any action in the Cardinal’s narrow OT loss to Oklahoma State. 

Owusu had a great career on The Farm. He caught 102 receptions for 1,534 yards and 10 touchdowns and had over a mile of kick return yards—2,172 yards to be exact—and three TDs on 78 kickoff returns. He ranks eighth all-time in Stanford history with 3,842 all-purpose yards. 

Stanford fans figured that the Fiesta Bowl would be the final appearance for Owusu in a football uniform. 

Nope. Owusu is now in Indianapolis, Indiana, for the NFL combine. 

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As a participant.

He is scheduled to work out on Sunday with the other WRs, having been medically cleared to play football again. 

According to a ProFootballTalk report earlier this month, an NFL physician with the league’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee has diagnosed Owusu as being “perfectly normal” and able “to play football now.” 

The Head, Neck and Spine committee believes Owusu is ready for more tackle football. Owusu and his family apparently feel likewise. 

But anyone who saw the moments of violent impact suffered by Owusu against Oregon State—or the vicious hit by T.J. McDonald a week earlier at USC or the hit in mid-October at Washington State—would beg to differ. 

Each of those three collisions resulted in Owusu immediately crumpling to the field. At Oregon State, he was hit by Beavers DB Jordan Poyer as he turned upfield after hauling in an Andrew Luck pass.

Owusu fell to the turf, his arms limply by his side and his eyes blank. He lay motionless for several minutes and was eventually put on a stretcher and into a waiting ambulance.

Some Stanford fans took to message boards afterwards, voicing their concern over Owusu’s immediate and long-term health and hoping that he would retire from football. 

Memo to fans: Chris Owusu wants to play more football. In the NFL. Where there are James Harrisons and Patrick Willises and Troy Polamalus on every defense, waiting to light up WRs who venture nearby. 

Chris Owusu has stated that he wants to go to medical school and become a physician. He has set himself up for a career in medicine by majoring in human biology at Stanford. Does he really need to put himself at grave risk by playing football again? 

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