The chance to resume his kicking career isn’t something that Iowa State kicker Garrett Owens takes lightly.
After leaving Oregon State last season, Owens didn’t know where he would end up. The chance with the Cyclones provides a ready opportunity for the senior transfer.
Coach Matt Campbell is looking for a replacement for departing kicker Cole Netten. After a struggling 2015 season, Netten rebounded to become one of the nation’s top kickers.
Netten converted 16 of his 17 field goal attempts. He finishes his career as the Cyclones’ career leader in field goal percentage (79 percent) and scoring (300 points). It was a marked difference from his junior season.
Owens kicked for three seasons with the Beavers, producing a career field goal percentage of 71 percent so far. He converted 10 of 17 attempts last season, with five of his misses longer than 45 yards. He made all but one of his 38 PATs.
The opportunity to work with Iowa State special teams coordinator Bryan Gasser improved Netten’s kicking in his senior season.
"I love that I'm getting a second chance. I have never been around a team that gets along so well." – Garrett Owens 🌪🏈 pic.twitter.com/KX9u7MljUJ
— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) August 10, 2017
Owens hopes for the same result this season with his opportunity.
He’ll be challenged by Chris Francis, who handled kickoffs for the Cyclones last season.
“It’s fun,” Owens tells the Iowa State Daily’s Aaron Marner. “We’re pushing each other, we’re trying to get better each and every day because when he’s pushing me and I’m pushing him, that’s when we’re at our best.”
The challenge figures to intensify in the practices leading to the Cyclones’ Sept. 2 opener against Northern Iowa.
It should improve whoever finishes with the opportunity as the starter.
“It’s fun,” Owens tells the Daily. “We’re pushing each other, we’re trying to get better each and every day because when he’s pushing me and I’m pushing him, that’s when we’re at our best.”