WVU Hospitals Help Bring Tyree Owens to Mountaineers - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Hospitals Help Bring Tyree Owens to Mountaineers

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Photo courtesy of Tyree Owens. Photo courtesy of Tyree Owens.
MORGANTOWN -

Tyree Owens' visit to the campus of West Virginia University was enough to solidify his interest in the school and announce his commitment to the Mountaineers' football team. But it was more than just football that drew him to Morgantown.

"They have two hospitals and I'm doing physical therapy, so that will be great for me," Owens said Monday. "I can do my internship and it'll all be pretty close together. I'm looking forward to that."

Owens has a very specific plan for himself when it comes to his college career. Unlike many rising high school seniors, the defensive lineman knows precisely what he wants to major in when he gets to college.

His interest in physical therapy began when he was much younger as he looked up to his mother and now, with the opportunity to learn it as a profession, he chooses WVU as his next stop.

"That's the major that I'm interested in because my mom's a nurse and she's been a nurse her whole life," said the Oviedo, Fla. native. "Just seeing her help people makes me feel good and I feel like I could do that. If I don't make it to the NFL, I could still be around the NFL helping players or just helping people in general."

As much time as Owens will spend with defensive line coach Erik Slaughter and the Mountaineers' defense, he may find himself equally interested getting to know team athletic trainer Dave Kerns. Most football players would consider the training room a place they don't want to find themselves in, but for Owens, it can be a place for learning his future profession.

Of course, Owens did use that phrase, "If I don't make it to the NFL."

For any young football player with real talent, that becomes the dream. A 6-foot-3, 250-pound defensive end who can get after the quarterback is no different. OrlandoSentinel.com ranked Owens as the No. 4 prospect on their "Central Florida Top 60" for 2014, which is no small feat for the latest player to commit to WVU.

Aside from his interest in the university due to its hospitals, Owens found himself intrigued by what his lead recruiter, special teams coordinator Joe DeForest, told him of the Mountaineers' defense. It's no secret that side of the ball left a lot to be desired in 2012, but Owens likes the challenge and believes the future for that unit holds a lot of potential.

"This is a defense that could use some work," he said. "It's not just like some other schools where they have a defense locked down and it's already something that's built one way. I want to go somewhere where we're working on our defense and we can be able to try different things out. I know the defense wasn't too good, but with the players that they've brought in, I think they'll make a big difference."

As for what Owens brings to the team, he says that's easy to describe.

"I'm very fast. I rush the passer a lot. That's one of the things that the coaches love about me," Owens said.

West Virginia's ninth commitment for the 2014 class made his decision as much for what he can achieve academically as for what he hopes to accomplish on the football field. 

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