University of Puget Sound

Whether in a football huddle or facilities meeting, Doug Owusu carries a big voice at Puget Sound

Loggers senior defensive end Doug Owusu (99) battles with a teammate during football practice at the University of Puget Sound Aug. 28.
Loggers senior defensive end Doug Owusu (99) battles with a teammate during football practice at the University of Puget Sound Aug. 28. Staff photographer

Doug Owusu wears many hats.

A couple important ones consist of a hard plastic shell.

The prominent one in the fall is a helmet for the University of Puget Sound football team. A three-year starter at defensive end, the Seattle product is sixth on the teams in tackles (24), and tied for second in tackles for loss (2 1/2 ) in what is shaping up to be his best season.

The rest of the year? Depends on what piques Owusu’s interest at the time.

He has long pursued a career in engineering, but has added a second major in business this season.

His quick wit could open many doors like into politics, law or public speaking.

“My parents told me to be good at a lot of things,” Owusu said, “not just one thing.”

Last spring, after the university announced it was undergoing a $19.4 million project to build a new aquatics center, expand the fitness center and upgrade iconic Memorial Fieldhouse, Owusu took a hands-on paid position in the university’s facilities administration office.

He worked on a 10-person, hard-hat team directly under Bob Kief, the associate vice president of facilities.

“It was basically to manage the logistics (of the project),” Owusu said. “Some weeks, I would work with floor plans and architectural drawings. Other days, I was finding out about new washing machine equipment.”

Owusu had to brief some of the coaches on campus about some of the new equipment — including Jeff Thomas, his own coach on the football team.

“I had to go to a meeting set up by Doug to learn about washers and dryers,” Thomas said. “I learned all about the different models, and he was the one who explained it all to me.”

It was kind of weird, right?

“It was Doug,” Thomas said. “So it was OK.”

The on-campus job opened his eyes to construction management — something he is considering looking into after graduation.

“I have always been fascinated with mechanics. I had always wanted to be an automobile engineer and design engines, but at this point I don’t know if I wanted to do that,” Owusu said. “I’ve always had a knack for mathematics.”

Owusu played everywhere on offense at Highline High School: quarterback, running back and eventually ending his career at right tackle.

After graduating in 2009, he held two jobs, including one as a tutor for a college-preparatory program at his old high school.

He spent 18 months at Highline Community College in 2011 before enrolling at UPS, and joining the football team.

Two seasons ago, he tore his Achilles right before the start of the season. It took him until now to get back to full speed.

“He did not move his feet well at all last year,” Loggers defensive coordinator Jeff Ramsey said. “This year, he is — and it is making all the difference in the world.”

With defensive linemen Jeremy Perkovich and Max Richman lost to injuries indefinitely, Owusu is performing at an all-time high level.

“This is definitely not what any of us pictured going into this season with the injuries to our position group, but it is definitely satisfying to be playing at a high level when the team needs me most,” Owusu said. “Things are clicking without me thinking so much.”

Todd Milles: 253-597-8442

todd.milles@thenewstribune.com

@ManyHatsMilles

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