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HOUSTON - When Logan Tanner got home from his lacrosse game, he went to check the mail.
The mailbox was chuck full of letters from college coaches from the programs that have offered the three-star tight end from St. Pius X.
"It's very humbling and I was taken back and to have as many as I did I knew it must've taken a lot of time," Tanner said about the letters.
Just got home from my lacrosse game with a mailbox full of letters. Blessed and thankful for each coach taking their time to write these letters not just to me, but to my family as well. Cant wait to visit these campuses in person. @StPiusXFootball @CranfillGreg pic.twitter.com/tjmVgYlGaG— Logan Tanner (@iamlogantanner) March 24, 2021
Tanner is coming off a solid junior season for the Panthers, which saw them reach the TAPPS playoffs. The tight end finished with 1,059 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns on 43 catches and believes his best attributes is his versatility and route running.
Since the end of football season, Tanner has received offers from Yale, Eastern Illinois State, San Diego State, Bucknell, Air Force, Arkansas State, Utah, Navy, Tulane, Harvard and the University of Houston.
The recruiting process has been a "roller coaster" Tanner says and after June 1 he plans on visiting every school that has offered him along with Kansas State, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and SMU.
"Although simple I'm looking for a family atmosphere," Tanner said. "A place where I could feel like everyone from the coaches to the teachers on campus are all like a family."
So, what is he doing this offseason to get better?
First, starting with playing lacrosse at St. Pius X, Tanner can play in every position, except for goalie, at any time and he believes this will help him on the football field come the fall.
"Lacrosse translates well because I've learned to use my hips a lot better which helps my route running and blocking," Tanner said.
Outside of lacrosse, Tanner - whose favorite NFL tight end is Kansas City Chief Travis Kelce because of his great route running, putting the guy in front of him in the ground, and his swagger - is also working with his football teammates to get better for 2021.
"I'm working on building not just me but the brothers on my team with me," he said. "We go in groups to the weight room or go to the field and run routes. For me, personally, I've been working on my run blocking."
RUEBEN OWENS II DOES NOT FASHION HIS GAME AFTER JUST ONE ELITE BACK.
The No. 1 running back in Texas for the Class of 2023 per 24/7 Sports studies the work of a trio and then emulates parts of their games into his own.
When watching Owens tear through an offensive line, you may see flashes of Adrian Peterson's style and power and Barry Sanders' vision. But he will be quick to tell you, he isn't just a stick-the-ball-in-his-gut and a cloud-of-dust kind of back.
Another attribute he has picked up is versatility. Like that of Le'Veon Bell, the ability to move out to receiver and become a nightmare for a defensive back is another key part of his game.
Package that all together and you have the El Campo running back. As a freshman, he rushed for 689 yards in the regular season – as a part of a three-headed rushing attack with Johntre Davis and Charles Shorter III. He has soared up the national recruiting ranks to become a four-star prospect with 20 offers.
"It's a great accomplishment to be the No. 2 back in the nation but I'm coming for the No.1 spot," Owens said. "There's lot of great backs in my class. So, I will keep grinding and working on my craft until I'm the No. 1 overall player in the nation.
"That's the big goal."
When Owens was just four years old, his father Rueben Owens Sr. placed a football and basketball in front of him. As the story goes, Owens crawled to the football.
Two years later, Owens got the nickname that is emblazoned in his Twitter profile - #BlackUnicorn.
"My father gave me that nickname, because he says I'm a rare breed, a different type of beast," Owens said. "He says I have been different since I was six years old when I scored my first touchdown.
"He's been calling me the Black Unicorn since then."
I bet I shake the room, left him in that spot 🤮 #DifferentTypeOfMonster @MikeWestHTX @mikeforman21 @dctf @MaxPreps pic.twitter.com/CZXvEcfx8a
— Rueben Owens ll #BlackUnicorn (@ii_rueben) September 21, 2020
Owens would grow into the game with his father training him along the way. It was in Florida at the AYF National Championships when he started realizing the gift.
"I knew I had a special gift and plus I had the work ethic to become what my father was telling me," Owens said. "I still have a lot more work to do but my father got me off to a great start to become the best back I want to be."
Fast forward to 2019 at El Campo High School.
Just like his father, who played mainly basketball for the Ricebirds (averaging 28 pts, five rebounds and five assists his senior year) and was a 2002 graduate, Owens stepped on to campus to don the Ricebirds red.
Owens slid right into the running back rotation for the Ricebirds, which can be daunting for a freshman being thrust into varsity play.
"I learned a lot as a freshman playing on the varsity level. It's a faster game and you have to be more focused," Owens said. "You can't make too many mistakes because coaches and players will be looking for a weakness and take advantage of them. But year two will be something to see, I promise you that."
Owens loves playing football. It is more than a hobby, it's a passion. He is fueled by the sport.
"Did you ever love doing something so bad that it consumed you?" he said. "That's what football does to me. It is my passion, my life, my escape. When I play, I forget everything that is going on in the world or my life."
Losing is only temporary and not all encompassing. You must simply study it, learn from it, and try hard not to lose the same way again. Then you must have the self-control to forget about it. #Time2BounceBack @MikeRoach247 @Perroni247 @SWiltfong247 @samspiegs @Jason_Howell pic.twitter.com/C5dzqwffud
— Rueben Owens ll #BlackUnicorn (@ii_rueben) September 12, 2020