Rueben Owens is a 5'11, 190-pound running back from El Campo High School in El Campo, Texas. As a blue-chip prospect in the class of 2023, the 247 sports composite ranks Owens as a five-star prospect. Additionally, he is currently ranked as the top-ranked RB nationally, the third overall player in Texas, and the 16th-ranked player in the nation.
As the top-ranked player in his position, Owens amassed a number of prominent suitors for his services. According to 247 sports, Owens received 43 total offers highlighted by Alabama, USC, Texas, Louisville, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M. For most of his recruiting process Oklahoma and Texas were long considered the frontrunners by media recruiting analysts. Despite the presumed lead that Texas and Oklahoma had built over other programs, Owens decided to take an official visit to Louisville this past weekend. After his visit, Owens posted to his Twitter announcing his commitment to head coach Scott Satterfield and the Louisville Cardinals.
According to OurLads.com the current running backs on the Louisville roster includes Tiyon Evans (Tr Jr.), Jawhar Jordan (Rs Tr So.), Jalen Mitchell (Rs So.), and Trevion Cooley (Rs Fr.).
Louisville could take a second prep or portal running back in this recruiting cycle but for now Owens their only commit in 2023.
As one would expect from reviewing a five-star recruit's film, Owens shows a lot to be excited about. Firstly, Owens is primarily an elusive, downhill back. He displays proficiency in gaining big yardage and can successfully target all the gaps along the offensive line. Owens has good vision and great decision-making.
What truly sets Rueben Owens apart from the pack is his speed and elite change of direction. His ability to instinctually change direction to break tackles is truly impressive. Unlike most highly shifty backs, Owens also possesses the strength to break through arm tackles to power forward for additional yardage. He displays the ability to be a receiving threat as well, though his receiving skills are nowhere near as polished.
Upon watching his film, Owens's playstyle very much reminded me of a young Le'veon Bell, only that Owens has better vision and shows a little more upside as a pass-catcher.
How he fits and my projections
I have zero doubt that Rueben Owens starts day one for the Cardinals. One of the key selling points of Louisville was that Owens could get on the field earlier and could get more reps than at schools like Oklahoma and Texas. He will likely be one of, if not the best athlete on the roster.
As of today, I would project that Owens is a three-year starter. Additionally, he is likely the first option on the Louisville offense starting day one. With the potential he has shown, he displays early NFL draft upside. With his talent, I doubt he stays for a fourth season.
This is a massive recruiting win for coach Satterfield and the Louisville recruiting staff. Depending on the rankings service you prefer, Owens is the first or second-highest-rated commit in school history. The level of talent that Louisville is bringing in from the 2023 recruiting class is unheard of. If they maintain pace, they may have a legitimate shot at landing the top class in the ACC in this cycle.
Overall, landing Rueben Owens is a game-changer for Louisville. I would expect them to be much more competitive in ACC than they have been in recent years. I expect Owens to be a surefire draft prospect and he will likely go down as one of the most notable Louisville players in a long time.