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Stanford wideout Owusu medically cleared after college concussions

Chris Owusu, Johnny Williams

Stanford’s Chris Owusu (81) tries to get away from Duke’s Johnny Williams (37) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)


Stanford wideout/return specialist Chris Owusu entered his senior season with second-day draft grades from NFL scouts, but suffered two concussions in 2011 and did not play in Stanford’s final four games. He suffered a previous concussion late in his junior year.

Owusu’s agent, Steve Caric of Caric Sports Management, revealed to PFT on Thursday that Owusu has been medically cleared to continue his football career. Owusu received a Combine invite and will participate fully with the wide receiver group in Indianapolis.

Per Caric, Owusu has been symptom free since November 6 of 2011, one day after his last concussion. A doctor with the NFL Head, Neck, and Spine Committee has diagnosed Owusu as “perfectly normal” and cleared Owusu “to play football now.” The doctor also determined that Owusu is not at greater risk of concussions due to his history.

Owusu was Andrew Luck’s top wide receiver in 2010. He averaged over 15 yards per reception in his career and returned three kickoffs for touchdowns. At 6-foot and about 200 pounds, Owusu is expected to run a forty time in the 4.3s at the Combine.

NFL teams, of course, will likely look at precedent in these kinds of cases. Like Owusu, Lions tailback Jahvid Best missed the final four games of his college career with a concussion. Best suffered two more concussions in 2011, one during the preseason and the second in Week Six. Best’s season was over.

A healthy Owusu is a top seven or eight receiver in the 2012 draft whose game-breaking return ability could conceivably push him into the top five. Receiving medical clearance from the NFL is the first step toward rehabbing his draft stock.