The bar is set pretty high in the Owusu household.
All five of the kids are A students who play multiple sports. If one of them came home with, say, a B-plus on a report card? "I would take them out of sports," said their father, Francis Owusu.
There's something else that all five kids have in common: They're very quiet.
The eldest, Chris, Stanford's 6-foot-2, 201-pound sophomore wide receiver and kickoff return man extraordinaire, carries it to the extreme, his dad said.
"He's way too quiet," he said. "He keeps things to himself."
On Sunday, a day after Chris returned a kickoff for a touchdown for the third time this season, tying the Pac-10 single-season record, he talked on the phone with his mother, Luaiva. And didn't mention the touchdown.
The NCAA single-season record is five (Tulsa's Ashlan Davis) and the career record is six (Davis and USC's Anthony Davis).
"You've got to decide if you're going to kick it to him," said UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel, who won't say which way he's leaning for Saturday's 12:30 p.m. game at Stanford. "It's like Barry Bonds when he was hitting all those home runs. You didn't have to pitch to him."
Francis Owusu had made the Ghanaian Olympic team in the 400 meters, but didn't compete because most of Africa boycotted the 1976 Games in Montreal over Olympic officials' refusal to ban New Zealand. There was an uproar over the New Zealand rugby team's tour of South Africa, which had been banned because of its apartheid policies.
He came to the United States in 1978 to attend Utah State on a track scholarship, met his Samoa-born wife and started a highly religious family. All five of their children are excellent athletes - Brian is a freshman defensive back at Harvard - but academics came first.
Chris, the oldest, plans to go to medical school. He had a 4.2 grade point average at Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, a 35-mile drive from their home in Oxnard (Ventura County). When Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh came for a visit, he was given a combination of Samoan and Ghanaian food, including fried plantain. "Oh my goodness, he ate and ate," Francis Owusu said.
At Oaks Christian, Chris was one of the main targets for quarterback Jimmy Clausen, now at Notre Dame. But he didn't return kickoffs, despite his exceptional speed.
"That shows you how good a coach I was," said Oaks Christian's Bill Redell, whose teams have gone 111-11-1 over 10 years. "I was afraid of him fumbling because he had done that a little bit in practice. If I had let him run back kickoffs, we probably would have been 114-8."
As a college freshman, Owusu returned kickoffs in five games after returning from a knee injury he sustained in a preseason scrimmage. His longest return was a 54-yarder. Now he's practically a touchdown machine, showing why he was one of the state's top prep sprinters until he pulled a hamstring as a senior.
"Honestly, it doesn't surprise me at all," said Georgetown quarterback Isaiah Kempf, a longtime pal. "I knew he was an extraordinary athlete. When he got hurt last year, I knew it was just a matter of time before people saw what he could do."Full Article