Any discussion of 2013 recruits comes with the understanding that even those players who have committed to the Cardinal could change their minds or fail to gain admission to the University. Nothing is official until national signing day on February 6, 2013, so recruiting news should be read through that filter. It's an inexact science, but it's simply too much fun to ignore.
If the name isn't familiar, I suppose that's because it's June and you've been focused on basketball or baseball for the past few months. Most of you, though, know that Francis is the younger brother of the recently graduated Chris Owusu, an All-Pac-10 performer and one of the most explosive receivers in Stanford history.
Because of this connection it had been widely assumed that Francis would be following in his brother's footsteps and signing with the Cardinal, but the younger Owusu maintained throughout the process that Stanford was simply one of the schools on his list. This past weekend, however, Francis was on campus watching his brother Chris receive his Stanford diploma after listening to another former Cardinal receiver (Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, New Jersey) give the commencement speech. I'm guessing all that made something of an impact. Francis committed to Stanford on Monday.
As always, I maintain that the list of schools offering scholarships to a player is probably the best barometer with which to judge that player's potential, and Owusu's list matches the four-star evaluations he's received from both Scout.com and Rivals.com. Owusu turned down schollies from fourteen other schools, including Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, UCLA, and Washington State from the Pac-12 and Florida, Nebraska, and Notre Dame from elsewhere around the country.
At 6'3" and 195 pounds, Owusu has the size necessary to compete physically with Pac-12 defensive backs, and enough speed to develop into a deep threat. Combined with blue chip quarterback and 2013 commit Ryan Burns, Owusu could stretch defenses significantly. Not surprisingly, Owusu's intelligence is listed as a strength, as he often outthinks defenders, but scouts see him as something of a project physically as he needs to work on his route running.
Owusu will be attending the elite Rivals 100 Five-Star Challenge this weekend in Atlanta, and it wouldn't be a surprise if his stock rises even higher after this event. Stay tuned.