Montell Owens (Getty Images)
Hard work beats talent. Sounds a little cliche, doesn't it? At least once in every athlete's life, will they hear this infamous quote. Although not many people believe it's true, Jaguars special teams star Montell Owens is proof positive.
"Faith is being certain of the uncertain and the unseen."
In the words of Montell Owens, this quote has been his motivator throughout his football career. As a undrafted free agent from the University of Maine, Owens knew from the start that making an NFL team's practice squad, better yet an NFL team, would not be easy. He was well aware that the intense practices and workouts at the University of Maine could very well have not been enough preparation for him to succeed in the professional ranks. As a matter of fact, Owens knew it was a long shot. As a backup for the first three years of his college career, Montell didn't get his breakout appearance until 2005, his senior year at Maine. When asked what brought the biology and kinesiology major to the small campus in Orono, Maine, Owens replied truthfully-
"The University of Maine was my only choice. They were the only school that was willing to offer me a full scholarship. I also looked at University of Maryland, as well as a lot of division II and III schools. The University of Maine won a championship prior to my attendance, so that was an influential factor in my final decision."
As a senior, Owens did well, rushing for a team high 716 yards. But with his team a few games owning a losing record, Montell knew that his statistics and his team's overall performance would probably not be enough to get his name out of the small college town of Orono, Maine. Owens was asked when and if he thought he had a chance to play at the next level-
"I believe that any great athlete is never satisfied. They always want to be better then what they are. In junior high, they want to play college ball, in high school, they want to play in college, in college, they want to go pro. That's pretty much been my philosophy all the way through."
As a select few NFL scouts gathered to watch prospects in Orono, something about Montell Owens stood out. It wasn't his build, his playmaking on the field, or even his crazy resemblance to Bo Jackson that the scouts were drawn to. Rather his work ethic and extraordinary drive. It was his passion for the game that stood out in the minds of scouts. It's that drive and passion for the game that Owens credits for his roster spot with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio, who last year had 6 running back spots open, seemed to agree--
"He looks up and he's got to be saying, 'Whoa, I'm No. 9; they're going to keep five and what are my odds?" he continues.
He had he let that seep into his head and into his mind-set, he would have not been able to compete the way he did. He competed like a man that really wanted to be here and in the end he was here and played a vital role for us last year.
After speaking with Montell about his accomplishments, perspectives, and overall views on his football career, it's obvious that he is grateful, humble, and thankful for the opportunity to be on the field every Sunday with the Jacksonville Jaguars. His drive and hard work has made him a special teams star in Jacksonville, and if he continues on the path that's he set out already, he'll have a long NFL career.