My second installment of Saturday Shout Out brings us current NFL athlete Jonathan Owens, as you keep reading I am going to refer to him as JO.
I was fortunate enough to cross paths with JO in August of 2013, when we started our careers as collegiate student-athletes at Missouri Western.
In our freshman dorms he lived in the room directly across the hall from me, and soon enough a group of about six to seven guys down the same hall started to develop some pretty solid friendships.
Without getting in to too much detail, we developed a really good relationship and eventually became roommates for our last three years in college.
We have shared some incredible times and have stories upon stories to share to go along with all of our memories, but beyond all of that, I am here today to share his story with you a little bit and give you some insight in to what it truly takes to achieve the goals that you ultimately believe you are put on this earth to achieve.
SW: Before we get in to some of the deeper questions, let the readers know a little bit about you.
JO: I’m a 23 year old St. Louis native, had lived there my whole life up until moving away for college. Sports have always been a way for me to keep my life on a meaningful path and stay out of trouble that I had seen a lot of people close to me get in to. After my time at Mo West I was fortunate enough to get a call from the Arizona Cardinals and sign on to a three year contract with them. Unfortunately only a couple weeks in to my career I tore my ACL, but I had already been able to show the team enough for them to know that they wanted to keep me and let me recover.
SW: Was tearing your ACL something that worried you about your future?
JO: Not at all. I had torn my other one my senior year of high school, so it worked out that my first year in college I didn’t really practice very much because I was busy rehabbing my knee.
SW: So basically the beginnings to your college career and NFL career both consist of a year of rehabbing an ACL tear?
JO: Exactly. That is why it didn’t and hasn’t worried me too much because it is something that I have already experienced. I know how I handle this exact situation and in college I was able to bounce back and have a pretty successful career so I know I could be able to do that same thing in the league.
SW: I remember when you had told me that the first thought that popped in to my head was how great this could end up being, because you would get a chance to basically ‘redshirt’ in the NFL and get a year of that lifestyle under your belt before you actually step on the field and face the pressures of playing professional football.
JO: Literally bro that’s exactly what happened. Over this past year of rehabbing and getting a feel for the league I’ve became comfortable with the process of camp, the season, game day, all that. I know what to expect so now when I’m lacing up my cleats on Sunday’s the jitters will be a little less than they would be if I would’ve been doing it as a rookie.
SW: How did you advance your game without being able to actually set foot on the field?
JO: My rehab process was something that I put so much time an energy in to, because I wanted to feel like when I step back on the field I am completely ready. I have seen some guys at the college level and even this level that don’t take their rehab as seriously as they should, and they don’t allow themselves to improve at all during that ‘down time.’
SW: Was there anybody in the organization that you were able to develop relationships with and lean on for support?
JO: No doubt. The dude I was doing my rehab with and a couple of the other young players on the team helped me a ton. It can be tough to stay positive and keep yourself up all the time but when you have a good circle around you it can change everything.
SW: What would you say has been the most important part, or the thing you have done the best, early on in your career?
JO: Man I just know that things are going to work out how they are supposed to. I wake up every day and feel like this is exactly what my life is supposed to be, even when I got hurt I felt like that. I don’t get too down on any inconveniences because it is always the bigger plan coming together. I know I put the time and work in to getting here and I know I will put it in to stay here for as long as I can.
SW: Who do you attribute most of your success to?
JO: God and my mom bro. My mom is one of the strongest women I know and she has done so much to make sure that I can live up to my fullest potential. The biggest move she ever made for me was putting me in a private high school instead of sending me to public school. It kept me on a path and put me in better situations and that is something that probably changed the entire course of my life.
SW: How does God play in to your life?
JO: I just know that everything that is happening is coming from Him and there is reasoning behind all of it. I know that he is ultimately in control of my journey so I just do everything I can with the situations he puts me in.
The conversation went a little bit longer and had some more topics discussed, but these questions and answers were some of the better points that we talked about.
JO is somebody that puts in the time and effort to make sure that he feels confident in his abilities to continue doing what he is doing at the level he is doing it at.
He knows that nothing is handed to someone, and that even if you have the opportunity to play a sport at a professional level you have to continue to perfect your craft.
I appreciated the convo with JO as always!