RECRUITING: Aspiring Owens commits to Air Force

Centennial’s Jacobi Owens had a productive career at running back for the Bulldogs, but it doesn’t compare to his goals beyond high school graduation.

The senior is a standout student who aspires to be a doctor one day.

Owens found the best of both sports and academics when he committed this week to play football at Air Force.

“They said, ‘Really, we’re the only school in the country who can guarantee you a job after football.’ That stood out,” Owens said.

“I want to be a doctor, and they’ll pay for medical school.”

Owens was a second-team all-state pick as a senior, rushing for 1,498 yards and 14 touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs (7-4) to the Sunset Region semifinals.

Owens also was recruited by North Dakota, Utah, San Jose State, Southern Utah and Colorado.

But the chance to compete for playing time at running back and begin study at Air Force was too much to pass up.

“I’m looking forward to growing as a person, becoming more grounded in my morals and responsibilities,” Owens said.

Owens was a key ingredient in Centennial winning seven straight games before losing a 23-20 heartbreaker at Palo Verde in the Sunset semifinals.

The 6-foot, 180-pound senior ran for 315 yards and two TDs on 29 carries in a 32-7 win over Legacy as a senior.

“My running style is to pound them until they give up, first quarter to fourth quarter,” Owens said. “My legs are big; they keep moving. I use my linemen to set up where I want to go.”

Owens averaged 6.6 yards per carry as a senior.

He rushed for 888 yards and five TDs as a junior, averaging 5.5 yards per attempt.

PHILIPPI, HUTCHINS COMMIT — Bishop Gorman senior linebacker/safety Marc Philippi committed to New Mexico, and senior defensive end/linebacker Zach Hutchins committed to Montana State, Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said Friday.

Philippi was a second-team all-state linebacker as a senior after posting 59 tackles, six sacks and 11 pass breakups. The 5-10, 201-pound senior also considered offers from UNLV, Navy and Montana, among others.

Hutchins was a first-team all-state linebacker in 2011 after recording 78 tackles, including three sacks, on his way to the Southwest League Defensive Most Valuable Player award. He was previously committed to San Jose State.

The defensive duo helped Gorman roll to a 16-1 record and its third consecutive Class 4A state title in 2011.