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ASU Teammates Mourn Loss of Player Killed in Jackson

By Brittany Nicholson
By bnicholson@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn.- Markel Owens, who police said was shot and killed during a home invasion Wednesday night, just finished his third year as a part of the Red Wolves defensive line.

His teammates and coaches said when working and playing with Owens there was never a dull moment.

"Not long ago we were just talking, enjoying the win we had," Owens former Arkansas State teammate, Darius Dunaway, said, in disbelief that his good friend is gone.

Although Dunaway left the team this past year, he said Owens was going to be in the starting line up this coming season.

"This was his big year, gonna have a starting position, and told him I'll be there to support him all the way through, tell him I'll miss him but I'll always be around for him," Dunaway said.

The former coach for Arkansas State University said losing Owens cannot do anything but affect the team.

"Coming back off all the good things that have happened, it's gonna take its toll on this team," John Thompson, the former defensive coordinator, said.

By good things, Thompson means the Red Wolves winning season, ending with a win over Ball State in the "GoDaddy.com" Bowl.

His former coach said it didn't take a "W" to make Owens happy.

"You always saw Markel was happy, he was putting in a day's work but he was gonna be there for everybody, never had issues or problems," Thompson said.

According to the ASU Website, Owens was district MVP his senior year at Liberty Tech High School in Jackson.

He was redshirted his first year at ASU and was planning to return this season for his senior year. His long-time friend and high school teammate said Owens had always been the kind of guy you could not help but love.

"He could uplift your spirit, he was just one of those who never dwelled on anything, he was a humble individual," Devin Wilson said.

His teammate said he openly talked about some day coming back to his hometown and finding a solution to crime in Jackson.