Auburn trailblazer James Owens
AUBURN - James Owens, the first African-American scholarship player in Auburn history, will be saluted by his school at this season's first home football game, and his name will be forever part of Auburn football.
Owens, who signed with Auburn out of Fairfield n 1969, will receive the first James Owens Courage Award on Sept. 15 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“James Owens is an Auburn icon and one of the most important figures in the storied history of Auburn football,” athletics director Jay Jacobs said. “It is only fitting that he is the first recipient of this new award named in his honor. James displayed incredible courage in the face of tremendous adversity and became one of the heroes of the 1972 Amazin’s. He forever changed Auburn football for the better, and the establishment of the James Owens Courage Award will ensure that we never forget what he means to Auburn University.”
The James Owens Courage Award will be presented annually to a current or former Auburn football player who has displayed courage in the face of adversity, distinguishing himself while contributing to the betterment of Auburn University.
Owens lettered at Auburn as a fullback from 1969-‘72. During three seasons on the varsity, he helped Auburn to a 28-5 record and played a key role on the 1972 Amazin’s team, which defied the odds and finished the season with a 10-1 record and a top five national finish.
His nephew, LaDarius Owens, is an Auburn defensive end.