FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Little brother has some serious bragging rights that might not ever be topped in the Owusu household.
Sure, Chris Owusu made it to the NFL as a wide receiver, now with the New York Jets. But Francis Owusu’s eye-popping, around-the-defender’s-back catch for Stanford on Thursday night will be a staple of highlight reels for years.
”It was as unbelievable as everyone said it was,” Chris Owusu said Friday after practice. ”I watched it several times, and it got better and better as I kept watching it.”
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Chris Owusu was actually asleep when the play in No. 15 Stanford’s 56-35 victory over No. 18 UCLA happened in the early morning hours on the East Coast. He woke up around 4:40 a.m. to see his phone filled with text messages about his brother’s big play. He later texted Francis ”to just give him some love in the morning and let him know how proud I was of him, and just keep it going.”
In the third quarter, Francis Owusu went up for a throw from Kevin Hogan off a flea-flicker. While being interfered with by defensive back Jaleel Wadood, who was face-guarding him in the end zone, the Stanford junior caught the football and trapped it against Wadood’s back.
Owusu kept his hands on the ball without being able to see it, maintaining control the whole time as the two fell for a 41-yard touchdown catch. The grab was all the talk on Twitter for hours, with some considering it among the greatest college catches ever.
”I didn’t want to give him too much (praise), but I wanted to let him know that it was an amazing catch,” a smiling Chris Owusu said. ”I was proud of the way he was able to track the ball despite, at the last second, his head being away from the ball. His concentration, his hand grip to be able to hold that ball, especially with another person in between, was pretty extraordinary.”
Chris Owusu, who also played at Stanford, has four catches for 55 yards this season, his second with the Jets, but is listed as doubtful for New York’s game Sunday against Washington while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.
Chris and Francis, who has seven catches for 122 yards and that jaw-dropping TD for the Cardinal, are just two of the athletic standouts in the Owusu family. Their father, Francis, ran the 400 meters for Ghana in the 1976 Olympics, and their brother, Brian, was a defensive back at Harvard. Their sister, Crystal, played basketball at Columbia.
”I think our parents kind of created that atmosphere of competition within the household,” Chris Owusu said. ”And it’s kind of elevated our play on the field and also off the field with academics.”
AP Sports Writer Josh Dubow in Stanford, California, contributed to this report.
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