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Friday, January 29, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 82







The great UH tradition lives on



About the Cougar
 

Owens, others look to impress NFL at senior bowls

By Sharif Talukder

Daily Cougar Staff

An inside look at an all-star game

Many of the top college football players in the nation participated in Senior Bowl. One of them was UH's Patterson Owens. 

Owens was a standout at defensive end for the Cougars and also played at the Blue-Gray game. His Senior Bowl experience started late because he was called Wednesday and got one day of practice.

"When I got to practice, it was exciting, because all the owners and coaches were there, like Arizona's Mean Joe Green and Jacksonville's Tom Coughlin," he said.



Patterson Owens (76) bears down on the Minnesota quarterback for one of his two sacks.  Owens was the only representative of the Cougars in the Senior Bowl.

Pete Medrano/The Daily Cougar

During practice and during the game, Owens had to go up against some of the best offensive linemen in the nation. Owens commented on them as simply "the best." 

Owens said that even with all the pressure placed on each player to perform well, everybody was relaxed and down-to-Earth.

One of the more exciting aspects of playing in all-star games is making new and long-lasting friendships. So when Owens watches the draft, it will be not only for himself, but for other players he met at the all-star games as well.

As for the draft, Owens said he had a good weekend at the Senior Bowl, and his stock has been moved up a little. Knowing where he will go in the draft is still uncertain until he starts his individual workouts.

Owens summed up last weekend by saying, "I am just happy to be representing the University of Houston."

A look at some other players

The all-star games were beneficial to all players, helping some who might have gotten passed over have the opportuity to shine, while solidifing othersā draft positions.

In the Senior Bowl, Brian Shay from Division II Emporia State showed he can play with the big boys. Shay rushed for 75 yards while leading the South to a 31-21 victory. South coach Tony Dungy said, "(Shay) proved he can play with this caliber of players."

Other players whose stock went up included the four quarterbacks who participated.

Syracuse's Donovan McNabb had a great week of practice and convinced scouts that he is more than just an option quarterback.

Joe Germaine from Ohio State will be battling the notion that Ohio State quarterbacks cannot be successful in the pros. Germaine threw for both of the North's touchdowns.

Scott Convington from Miami was named the South MVP, passing for 78 yards and completing 7-of-11. He is hoping to continue the long tradition of great NFL quarterbacks from Miami.

Cade McNown from UCLA was named the game MVP. He went 10-of-12 and threw for 114 yards. He was able to move the team down the field, once completing all his passes in a drive.

The Hula Bowl was played the next day. Heisman winner Ricky Williams, who rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns, was named the game MVP. He is expected to be drafted either No. 1 or No. 2 in the upcoming draft.

Heisman runner-up Kansas State's QB Michael Bishop finished 10-of-17 for 197 yards and two touchdowns.

Another player who helped himself was North QB Kevin Daft of Division II California-Davis. He came in as a player on the bubble of getting drafted, but his MVP performance really helped him. He went 8-of-17 for 117 yards and a touchdown.

"Coming from a Division II school, I had to prove myself against these players," Daft said. "I got the opportunity, and I made the most of it."

Pro prospects will go to Indianapolis in February to prove that they can play in the NFL at the scouting combines. The top college prospects will participate at their stadiums during individual workouts. 

Except for Georgia CB Bailey, the remaining players need to convince the scouts on some minor points. For example, if QB Tim Couch can make every throw, or if Tory Holt is fully back form his injury. Regardless, it should be an interesting and busy time until the draft.
 

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