ATHENS — Joe Cox said hasn’t necessarily been the biggest topic of conversation in the Georgia locker room, but it’s definitely all Jeff Owens has been talking about.
Owens, the Bulldogs’ defensive tackle who will be a fifth-year senior this fall, launched his own blog called “Jeff Owens: The Real Deal” earlier this month, and he’s adding new readers every day with a hefty dose of self-promotion.
“I’ve said it so much that my teammates, now they tell people before I even say it,” Owens said. “So it’s really becoming a household name, and I’m just trying to keep publicizing it and let people know the real inside story of a college athlete and our every-day lives and what we go through.”
Cox is one of Owens’ latest targets, submitting to a question-and-answer session that was posted on Owens’ blog Wednesday, revealing everything from the senior quarterback’s future plans to his favorite pizza place in Athens.
The blog, which can be found at jeffowens95.blogspot.com, will have plenty of insight into the minds of Owens’ teammates, but he said he hopes it will turn out to be much more than that.
“I want to do some type of talk show or radio like (ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the morning”),” Owens said. “That’s my long-term dream to do something like that, and I hope by creating this blog that helps pave the way.”
Owens said he has always had an interest in becoming involved in the media, hoping to host his own talk show one day. For a while, he was talking with teammate Kade Weston about trying to start a Web site similar to Facebook. After reading a friend’s blog, however, it occurred to Owens that Georgia fans might have an interest in reading his own thoughts, so he decided to launch the blog.
The only problem, Owens said, was that he had no idea how to go about doing it, but as most tech savvy college students would, Owens headed to the Internet for some research.
He found a video explaining how to launch and format his blog by watching YouTube, and he types all his entries using his cell phone.
“I’ve got good texting skills,” Owens said.
Just a few weeks into its existence, the blog already has hundreds of readers, all through word of mouth, Owens said.
“I’ve been advertising it quite well, on the buses, in class, dining halls, everywhere I go. He said. “A lot of my professors are even looking at the blog.”
Owens’ plan is to post at least one new item every day, and Cox said his teammate certainly seems serious about it.
“That’s all he talks about,” Cox said. “He’s on it every day. When you walk back by the computers he’s on there putting new stuff on and trying to interview people.”
While an athlete starting his own blog is nothing new — stars such as Barry Bonds and Terrell Owens often release news to fans through personal blogs — Owens is pretty sure he’s the first Bulldogs player with his own site. And while some athletes have found themselves in a bit of hot water after giving away a bit too much information on their blogs, Owens said he hasn’t heard any complaints from his coaches so far — although the team’s compliance director did make him take down links to a few corporate Web sites to avoid any appearances that Owens was endorsing them.
Owens only has a little more than a dozen posts so far, but he said the response from fans has been impressive. A post he wrote earlier this month on what it means to wear the Georgia ‘G’ earned rave reviews from fans, he said. He has been surprised by the number of fans who want to hear about what he and the other players do away from the field, however, and he said he hopes to write more on that, too.
Down the road, Owens he plans on posting stories about Georgia fans and a tribute to legendary announcer Larry Munson, and he may add some photos of his fishing trips with Cox. He hopes to set up a feature where fans can post their own questions that he’ll answer each week, too, but he hasn’t quite figured out the technology for that yet.
But it’s a learning process, and it’s one he’s enjoying so far, although he admits he could probably use an assistant.
“I have a lot of ideas,” Owens said. “It’s just the time to put them on paper. I’m working by myself. I wish I had somebody to help me out, but then it won’t be my thoughts.”