According to at least one doctor within the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine Committee, Stanford wide receiver Chris Owusu is "perfectly normal" and able to "play football now."
Prior to every NFL team's doctors checking out Owusu, the assertion that the former Cardinal receiver is fine has to be taken with a grain of salt. For one, Owusu has had three concussions over the past two seasons, the last of which of which ended his 2011 season on November 5. The concussion (suffered against Oregon State) kept Owusu out of several big games, including Stanford's January 2 Fiesta Bowl matchup against Oklahoma State.
Second, Evan Silva of ProFootballTalk.com cites communication with Owusu's agent (Steve Caric of Caric Sports Management) as the source of the story. What else might an agent say about his client other than that he is healthy and likely to boost his stock at the upcoming Combine?
I have also been in contact with Caric regarding Owusu's recovery from the concussions. Not surprisingly, Caric is confident that his client is going to turn heads in Indianapolis.
Via email, Caric explained that: "There is a lot of false information and perception out there on [Owusu's] health. We have already begun correcting that, and it will be reinforced when every team examines him at the Combine and he proves to be 100% healthy up close."
Caric is right. Ultimately, each team's doctors are going to make their own interpretation of Owusu (and every other prospect) based on the medical testing done at the Combine.
Whether the Stanford product is healthy enough to warrant draft consideration remains to be seen. He's currently graded by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 48 receiver of the 2012 draft class, though no one doubts that based purely on talent he deserves to be ranked among the top 20 at the position.
Owusu was graded by some scouts as a middle round talent entering his senior campaign. This grade, however, was based largely on Owusu's upside as he's struggled to remain on the field throughout his career. Due to multiple injuries, he was never able to start a full season at Stanford, earning the starting nod in 9/13 games in 2009, 7/13 in 2010 and 7/13 again this past season. He left Stanford having caught 102 passes for 1,534 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The 6-0, 200 pound Owusu is a terrific athlete who should test well in Combine drills. Ultimately, it is the "other" drills that will be more important in determining his final draft stock, as this story serves as a reminder that for as much attention as the results in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and bench press will get, the medical testing is far and away the most important element of the Combine.
The Combine will take place in Indianapolis February 22-28.