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#BlackUnicorn: El Campo's Owens among best in 2023 recruiting class

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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."

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."