Toledo quarterback has similarities to Driskel
Published: Monday, August 26, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 10:30 p.m.
The two quarterbacks who will face each other when Florida plays host to Toledo on Saturday have more in common than their positions.
Toledo at Florida
WHEN: Saturday, 12:21 p.m.
TV: SECN (WOGX in Gainesville)
Radio: AM-850, 103.7 FM
They both know the rare feeling of being selected in the Major League Baseball draft even though neither one is currently a baseball player.
Florida's Jeff Driskel was taken by the Boston Red Sox in this June's draft. Toledo's Terrance Owens went in last year's draft, in the 40th and final round to San Diego.
Owens hasn't played baseball since he was a freshman at Cleveland's Glenville High.
“It was a big surprise, really,” Owens said. “I wasn't expecting it. It kind of came out of left field.”
Owens was drafted as a pitcher, the position he played until giving up the sport (as well as basketball) to concentrate on football. You can understand why the Padres would take a flier on a guy that late — he's a 6-foot-4 left-hander who is accurate throwing a football.
Like Driskel, Owens signed with the baseball team that selected him. But his focus is on football for now.
“A lot of people in my inner circle, they know what I want to do,” Owens said. “It's always there, but I want to see how far I can go in football first. If that doesn't work out, I'll try baseball.”
Owens, a fifth-year senior, will offer a difficult test for a Florida defense that is breaking in new starters at safety and at all three linebacker positions.
He has completed better than 64 percent of his passes in three seasons while throwing 45 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions. He also ran for five touchdowns and threw for 2,699 yards as a junior last season.
“It's going to be a challenge coming down there to play a team like Florida,” Owens said. “They have tremendous players on defense.”
Coming out of high school, Owens was set to go to Bowling Green. Toledo head coach Matt Campbell was an assistant there at the time. But when Campbell was hired at Toledo, Owens decided to follow him.
“It was a no-brainer when he got the job,” Owens said.
Owens split time with Austin Dantin at the quarterback spot his first two seasons and said he had to be “very patient” waiting for his opportunity. He was the starter last year, but missed the final game of the regular season with a pair of ankle injuries. He came back to play in the Rockets' bowl game, but struggled as Toledo lost to Utah State 41-15 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Now it's time for his first-ever visit to The Swamp.
“Our guys are pretty confident,” he said. “We like to compete. We'll be the underdogs but we'll compete.”