AJC Interview With DT Jeff Owens



Bulldogs' DT Jeff Owens

Bulldogs' DT Jeff Owens

AJC.com Interview with Bulldogs’ DT Jeff Owens:



Georgia defensive tackle Jeff Owens seems to be as wide as he is tall. But at 6-foot-3, 300 pounds, Owens insists his size isn’t the secret to his success. “Size is overrated in football,” he said recently. “It’s quickness, technique and fundamentals. That’s what wins the battles up front.”

Owens has won a lot of them for the Bulldogs.

He enters his senior season having played in every game of his career, including starting the last 24. Owens sat down last week for a conversation with staff writer Chip Towers.


Q: How does it feel heading into your senior season?

A: It seems like one day I just woke up and now I’m a senior. I still remember when I was coming in my freshman summer. That was an adjustment. Now I know the system inside and out. It’s been a ride and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.


Q: What goes through your mind when you see these new freshmen coming in?

A: They’re like a fish out of water right now. It’s going to take time for them to adjust. They haven’t experienced camp yet; they haven’t experienced the coaches; they haven’t experienced games. Summer workouts compared to training camp compared to the season, they’re all totally different. They haven’t seen anything yet.


Q: Some have said this defensive line has a chance to be special from the standpoint of talent and experience. You’ve played on some good ones the last three years. How does this group stack up?

A: We know we’re special. It all starts up front; that’s what Coach [Rodney] Garner is always preaching to us. If we don’t get it done, the back end doesn’t get it done. If we don’t get pressure on the quarterback and stop the run the linebackers and the DBs cannot make plays.

The reason I think we’re special is we’re deep, we’ve got guys that can play and we compete. Geno Atkins, Corvey Irvin, Kade Weston, me, Ricardo [Crawford], Brandon [Wood], we’re all competing for starting jobs but we’re all excited just to be out there, too. We pull for each other. That’s what I love about this D-line. We’re tight. We’re not selfish. We work hard, we train together, we live together, we’re close.


Q: You and Geno have been nominated for preseason awards, so clearly a lot is expected. Is there anyone who might surprise folks?

A: Corvey Irvin. Write that name down. He is going to be an impact player on this defense. I know it. He’s getting stronger. He’s already fast. He’s quick. He’s a good pass rusher and he can stop the run. He can do it all. I’m telling you, people are sleeping on our defensive line. People think we just have a starting two but our rotation is going to be crazy this year. We’re going to have so many guys in there, we’re going to be so fresh, we’re going to dominate.


Q: You separated your right shoulder in spring practice. That’s a tough injury for an interior lineman. How is it now?

A: My shoulder’s doing real well, great actually. Today I [benched] 455 [pounds] for two reps. I maxed out at 535 two years ago. I haven’t tried to max since but 455 twice is pretty good. The shoulder feels fine. It’s not going to problem.


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