Toledo quarterback Terrance Owens doesn't play baseball. At least he hasn't since high school. Ninth grade to be exact. For some reason, he was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 40th (and last) round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft.
But that's not why Owens drops in at No. 25 on our list of top football players for the 2013 season. Owens, who has seen significant time as the Rockets quarterback over the past three seasons, has proven himself to be one of the most dangerous signal callers in the Mid-American Conference.
When Austin Dantin went down with injury in 2010, Owens stepped in throwing for 1,244 yards and 13 touchdowns in just seven games. In 2011 he saw action in 12 of Toledo's 13 games throwing for 2,022 yards and 18 touchdowns with an astonishing 72.2% completion percentage.
Behind Owens, Toledo jumped into the BCS Top 25 in Week 11 of the 2013 season after the Rockets jumped out to a 8-1 start including a win over 21st ranked Cincinnati. Toledo's southpaw gunslinger finished last season with 2,707 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Maybe the Padres liked the prospect of having Owens as a pitcher for his accuracy. Over his three season as a quarterback with the Rockets, he's completed just over 64% of his passes throwing three times as many touchdowns as interceptions (45-to-15.)
What's scary about the prospect of Owens' big season ahead is the weaponry he has surrounding him. Toledo returns David Fluellen to the backfield, who in 2012 rushed for 1,498 yards and 13 scores. Spread out wide, Owens has two Biletnikoff Watch List wide receivers in his arsenal. The younger of the two is 6'4" sophomore Alonzo Russell who as a sophomore hauled in 56 receptions for 960 yards and 5 touchdowns. His partner in crime will be senior Bernard Reedy who caught 89 passes in 2012 racking up 1,105 yards and 6 scores.
What seems to be missed in analyzing all the yards Owens has compiled through the air is his ability to get the job done with his legs. Although he has Doak Walker candidate as a backfield companion in Fluellen, defenses can't look past Owens' 747 yards on the ground over his career.
Owens will have big challenges to start the season with home run hitters Florida in the lead off spot and Missouri on deck. Toledo will hope he continues to throw strikes to his own receivers and utilizing his electric stuff to get the Rockets back into the Top 25. If Owens continually finds the zone, don't balk at the idea of seeing the Rockets atop the MAC West at the end of the season.
Enough baseball references yet?