- Name: Jalaan Owens
- Position: DB
- College: Benedictine University
- Height: 6’0
- Weight: 185
- Twitter: jalaan_owens
- Instagram: _ynsolo
What makes you a top prospect at your position in the 2022 NFL Draft?
- What makes me a top prospect in my position in the 2022 Draft is that my worth ethic and determination is unmatched. Everybody is an underdog in their own perspective, but I know I am the true underdog in this class. My freshman high school coach, Coach Hutchinson, told me, “Jalaan, you will never see the field on a Friday night!” and he was right, to an extent. Yet, I did not let that stop me. I used those words to push me and make me work harder than I thought was imaginable. I saw limited time during my high school career but went on and played at smaller schools and became not only a starter, but 1st team All-Conference. I have been overlooked consistently yet I have always bet on myself and now am training at MJP (Michael Johnson Performance) in Mckinney, TX. Yet it is not your typical pro-day training as everybody else in the nation. Five times a week I wake up at 4:30 AM and drive 3 HOURS and 30 MINUTES from Austin, TX(where I’m staying with my girlfriend, Patricia) to MJP just to train and then drive 3 HOURS and 30 MINUTES back to her home, getting back between 7:00 and 9:00 PM. All while funding my training and travel out of my own pocket and sometimes with support from family. I will never stop working because everybody is talented, that is what has made us all prospects, but hard work is what is going to keep the very few in this position.
At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?
- I have been interested in the sport of football since I could walk, LITERALLY! My first steps as a human being on a football field in Las Vegas at my older brothers football game. My love and passion for the game has only blossomed from there.
What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?
- I will NEVER become complacent or ideal. The team the invest in me will get the hardest working, most dedicated person in the NFL. Rather it be my rookie season or season 25, I will always be the last person of the field. The job will never be finished in my eyes. I don’t care if we just won the Super Bowl, I’ll be right back to work because I’ll be upset that it wasn’t a repeat. If we repeat, I’ll be right back to work the next day because it wasn’t a three-peat and so on. I don’t care about individual accolades, I care about the team accolades because those are what leaves a mark on the organization.
If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be?
- The one cause in the world I would donate to is children that have suffered a loss from gun violence. I lost my father when I was less than two months old and I want to show people that we are not victims of our circumstances. We use those circumstances to better not only ourselves or our families, but most importantly our future children’s lives.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
- There are three pieces of advices that I have received.. the first one is the quote from Maya Angelou, “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” The second piece of advice is, “Always forward, never back.” This means that whatever happened, happened. You can not go back in time and change it, regardless of how much you want to. All you can do is learn from it and make improvements and keep pushing forward, because at some point you will finally have that break thru. The beautiful part about this advice is that it correlates to the real-world and the position I play because a WR and QB will make a play in a game, its going to happen but how are you going to respond is what matters. Are you going to allow it to happen again or are you gonna strap up tighter and make the next play? I live by both of these pieces of advice forever and ever! The third is, “a good player looks at the playbook, memorizes it and throws it away. The greats look at the playbook, memorize it, keep it, and look it over every day!” This has made me continuously study the playbook until I know what every persons job on the field is. I have to do my 1/11th but I have to know what everybody else on the field does so I know what our strengths and weaknesses in our defense our!!
Who was your childhood hero?
- Oh that is simple, MY MOTHER! My mom is the biggest and most B.A. superhero that there is in this world. She raised us on her own and had assistance from my stepfather in the middle of my youth but that women, that woman has done everything she possibly could to put me in the best position to succeed!
Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school?
- That’s a harder question, there are so many guys in my locker room that get overlooked but I’d probably have to go with Ryan Millsap, Alex Arnold or Geoffrey Mazur. Those three guys put in as much work as me but were never give the ability to fully showcase their abilities during my time at Benu.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
- My biggest pet peeve is having teammates that are just on the field to call themselves “football players” and for social hours. When I step onto that field, its because I want to dominant every person the lines up across from me wearing a different color than me. Football brings me pure joy but dominating, dominating that person across from me is what is true fun!
Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome?
- The hardest moments in my life were losing my father at two months old making my mother raise two young boys into kings all by herself and being told by my coach that I’d never see the football and be successful at what I love to do. I am grateful both of those happen though because they have made me hungrier than ever and made me into the king I am today.
Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?
- Benedictine is special to me because of the community that is there and the coaches I have had. My college coaches were the first coaches that believed in me and knowing that those men took a chance on me and put their faith in me was such a powerful thing. It is insane what someone believing in you can do for you. We didn’t always see eye to eye because it wasn’t a coach-player relationship, it was a father-son relationship and they knew that they could always count on me!
What is your favorite snack food?
- OREOS AND MILK! There is no better bedtime snack! Just make sure you dunk your cookie in the milk and get a 70-30 ratio of soft to hard.
What is the best part of football?
- That when I step into that locker room and onto the field, I know that all my problems go away and I can just take out all of my aggression in a controlled manner. Along side all of my brothers who have my back and they know I have their back for the rest of my life.
If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say?
- If you invest in me, I’ll turn you into Elon Musk, the richest and smartest man in the world!
If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be?
- There isn’t one player I can compare my play to. It’s a combination of players. It’s a mix of Justin Simmons, Greg Newsome, Budda Baker, Jamal Adams and Minkah Fitzpatrick.
If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?
- I’d have dinner with my father, Ed Reed, and Martin Luther King.
- I’d have dinner with Ed Reed so I can pick his brain at how he attacked the game, how he studied film, and how he carried himself off the field as he did on the field.
- I’d have dinner with Martin Luther King because I am not just a football player, I am a HUMAN in this society and I want to use football as my platform to make a POSITIVE change in our society. I want to talk to him about how he overcame adversity and hate and persevered with his task to make an impact in this world.
- Last but most importantly, I want to have dinner with my father because I want to just have one conversation with my father. It was stripped away from me before I ever could. I do everything I do because I know he is looking down on me and I want to make him proud so hearing those words from him would mean the world to me! I don’t look for a “proud of you” from anybody but hearing it from him and my mom literally are the only ones it would matter from!