ESPN.com’s Justin Tinsley profiles South Carolina State University defensive end Reggie Owens, who before emerging this season as one of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s top defensive players, was heralded as a hero for saving a family after a severe car accident.
Owens, who witnessed and quickly aided just seconds after a drunk driver hit a car carrying two women and three small children, helped to save the life of the youngest victim, two-year-old Messiah Griffin. Police officials say Griffin could have bled to death without Owens’ actions.
According to SCSU head coach Buddy Pough, Owens’ quick thinking as a playmaker extend far beyond the field where he ranks third in the conference with sevens sacks. From ESPN:
“He’s just that kind of guy. He’s volunteering and doing things in the community,” SCSU head coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough says of his preseason All-MEAC second-team standout. “He’s doing the kinds of things that you really think guys in college sometimes really wouldn’t take the time to do, especially a big-time college football player.”
Those “kinds of things” Coach Pough is referring to saturate Owens’ resume. He advocates for domestic violence awareness. He reads to preschoolers at the Child Development Learning Center on campus. He performs community service with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. And it wasn’t solely stepshows or strolling that led him to join Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. this past spring. The historically black organization’s commitment to uplifting community was the selling point.