New leaders emerging for Georgia State football

Football player catching a football during a game
Christian Owens, wide receiver for Georgia State’s football team, shows he’s ready for the new season. Photo by Michael Pascale | The Signal

Several players stood out during the annual spring game at Georgia State Stadium, including wide receiver Terrance Dixon with two touchdown passes from redshirt sophomore quarterback Jack Walker.

Not to mention there were impressive performances from redshirt junior running back Darius Stubbs with an 83-yard touchdown run. Redshirt freshman quarterback Swift Lyle tossed a 37-yard touchdown pass to tight end Bryson Duckworth.

However, there was a player who stood out – a few plays earlier in the second quarter. That player is redshirt senior wide receiver Christian Owens.

Early in the second quarter, Owens caught a difficult pass over a defender and ran for an 83-yard touchdown. While this was exciting, it was, unfortunately for him, called back because of an offensive holding call. The wide receiver caught another pass for a 16-yard touchdown from Jack Walker.

Owens is a redshirt senior who transferred from South Carolina to play for his hometown team in August 2017. His reason for choosing Georgia State was family oriented, as the wide receiver wanted the opportunity to play in front of his family and current coach.

While it took some time to adjust, Owens has gotten into a more leadership role on the team.

“I’m currently the oldest in the receiver group,” he said, “I’m one of the old heads. My teammates call me Papa O.”

Christian explained his role as “keeping guys afloat on and off the field.”

After the game, Owens explained his growth during his time at Georgia State.

“One thing I have and continued to improve on is transitioning in and out of routes,” Owens said.

Additionally, he views his size as a valuable skill to the offense, standing at 6’4 and 215 pounds.

“I can add a deep threat to the team,” Owens said.

Owens credits his fellow wide receivers for being the aggressors on the field as well.

Continuing about his growth as a player and person, Owens praises his coaches for teaching him how to master his craft. He has grown as an individual through certain team rituals since head coach Shawn Elliott took over before the 2017 season.

“Before we start a meeting, we start with a thought of the day,” Owens said of the uplifting discussion. “Everybody brings something positive to say or simply something to think about.”

Owens has seen significant growth in his teammates from the final game of the 2018 season to spring ball, including Terrance Dixon, a redshirt sophomore wide receiver.

“He’s been performing well all spring,” Owens said.

As for what to expect from the Panthers in the coming season, Owens believes it will be something truly special.

“Get ready to see what we have been working on in the offseason,” Owens said. “I have faith whether I’m on the field or not. All of my teammates and I are going to get the job done.”

Stay tuned for next season, as the Panthers will take on Tennessee on August 31 in Knoxville, Tennessee.