Kearney football coach Greg Jones doesn’t think Tanner Owen needed much time Tuesday to mull a scholarship offer from Missouri.
“He’s wanted to go to Mizzou ever since that kid was in junior high,” Jones said. “I wasn’t there, but I imagine about the time they got the offer out of their mouth he was already accepting it.”
Owen — a 6-foot-6 and 265-pound two-star prospect, according to Rivals.com — received an offer after the Tigers’ camp and wasted precious little time verbally committing.
“I think they were really close (to offering Owen) late this spring, but I think going down there and doing what he did, they probably thought, ‘Hey, we can’t let this kid go somewhere else,’” Jones said.
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Jones said associate head coach/quarterbacks coach Andy Hill was Owen’s lead recruiter, but offensive line coach Bruce Walker and offensive coordinator Josh Henson also visited Kearney on the recruiting trail.
“His foot speed and his agility are what separates him when you compare him to other linemen,” Jones said. “His attitude is a lot like (Missouri junior center) Evan Boehm. We played against Evan when he was at Lee’s Summit West. He has that mentality that blocking is just not good enough. Those type of kids want to put you in the ground every time. That’s kind of how Tanner is.”
Jones believes Missouri will leave Owen, who will need to add weight and muscle, at tackle, but it might be a few years before he steps into the Southeastern Conference fray.
“Realistically, he probably won’t play a down for Mizzou for another 36 months,” Jones said. “He’s got time to get bigger and stronger. He’s got another year with us then they’re going to redshirt him and he probably won’t play much his freshman year. If he starts as a sophomore, that’s three years from now. That kid’s going to get a lot bigger by then.”
Owen is the first Kearney player to commit to Missouri since 2009, but he’s in good company.
“It’s awesome,” Jones said. “We had Brock Christopher and Tommy Saunders then Beau Brinkley went there and now Tanner.”
The Tigers also are “heavily recruiting” Cale Garrett, who will be a junior linebacker for Kearney in the fall, Jones said.
Watch Owen’s junior highlight video below.
Here’s Garrett’s video for a further peek into the future.