Hometown: Montgomery, AL
Record: 27-19, Bowl Record: 1-1
Artie Owens was a dynamic all-purpose athlete for the West Virginia Mountaineers in the 1970s. He came to Morgantown from Montgomery, AL by way of Stroudsburg, PA. Owens saw immediate playing time freshman year on special teams and limited carries as a running back. Owens was expected to assume the starting spot at running back his sophomore season, but his season would be cut short by injury. Owens, fully healed, exploded onto the scene as the primary running back. Owens had amassed 1,130 yards and 7 touchdowns his junior season. He would follow up his outstanding junior campaign with 1,055 yards and 5 touchdowns as a senior. For his career, Owens piled up 2,648 yards rushing, 149 yards receiving, 1,174 return yards, and 19 total touchdowns. Owens versatility garnered much attention from pro scouts. Owens was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 1976 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, Owens could not duplicate his Mountaineer success in the NFL. Owens Mountaineers success was recognized long after his playing career, being inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.
Memorable Game: Artie Owens had a tremendous performance his senior season against the Southern Methodist University Mustangs. Owens combined with Dwayne Woods to provide the Mountaineers a potent 1-2 punch in the running game. West Virginia traded scores with SMU in the Cotton Bowl. Owens rushed for 171 yards to keep the Mountaineers in the game. The WVU defense created enough turnovers to keep the game close. West Virginia would edge the Mustangs by a final score of 28-22.
Competition: Owens was a clear winner for #24. He is a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, a versatile football player, and a former WVU track star. Outside of Owens, other notable players to wear #24 for the Mountaineers include: Eain Smith, Jason Colson, and Pat Randolph.
Teaser: Most of the avid West Virginia fans know that the selection for #23 is a defensive back named Mike. The question is: which Mike is the pick for #23? Mike Logan or Mike Lorello? The suspense must be killing you, being left with such a Cliffhanger. See what I did there?