May 1, 2012
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EDEN PRARIE, Minn. - Former Cal defensive end Ernest Owusu has agreed to terms on an undrafted free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings. Owusu will join fellow former Cal defensive end Trevor Guyton, who was selected by the Vikings in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft on Saturday.
Owusu played in 42 games with 18 starts at Cal from 2007-11, recording 55 tackles, 14.0 tackles for loss (-61 yards), 8.0 sacks (-49 yards), one forced fumble and five pass breakups. He earned first-team Pac-12 All-Academic honors as a senior after being a second-team Pac-10 All-Academic selection during both his sophomore and junior campaigns. He was also a two-time first-team CoSIDA Academic All-District® 8 pick as a junior and senior.
Owusu played in all 13 games with nine starts in his senior campaign, contributing a career-high 30 tackles to rank second among the team's defensive linemen behind Guyton. He was also second on the squad with 4.5 sacks (-25 yards) and fourth with 7.5 tackles for loss (-30), both career highs. In addition, he recorded his first career forced fumble, a career-high-tying two pass breakups and a quarterback hurry. Owusu had his biggest game of the season at Oregon with a career-high seven tackles, a season-high-tying 2.0 tackles for loss for a season-high 12 yards, a sack for a season-high 10 yards, a forced fumble and a pass breakup. In addition to his first-team Pac-12 All-Academic and first-team Academic All-District® 8 awards, he earned the team's Dink Artal Award on the defensive side of the ball for the player best exemplifying Cal spirit.
Owusu played in all 12 games as a junior and started each of the season's first nine games before coming off the bench in the final three. He recorded 14 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss (-10 yards) and 1.5 sacks (-9 yards), as well as a career-high two pass breakups. Owusu twice had a season-high-tying four tackles vs. Colorado and UCLA. He also earned first-team ESPN All-Academic All-District® 8 and second-team Pac-10 All-Academic honors.
As a sophomore, he played in 12 games off the bench and finished the season with seven tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss (-18 yards), 2.0 sacks (-15 yards) and one pass breakup. He recorded all of his sacks and tackles for loss in the season-opener vs. Maryland, with the 3.0 tackles for loss tying for the most by a Cal player in 2009 while both were career highs. He had three total tackles and also his first career pass breakup vs. the Terrapins. He was a second-team Pac-10 All-Academic choice.
Owusu's first action at Cal came as a redshirt freshman when he played in five games off the bench, recording five tackles and 1.0 tackle for loss (-3 yards). He had a season-high four stops in his collegiate debut against Colorado State.
Owusu was not invited to the 2012 NFL Combine but did have a solid all-around performance at Cal's 2012 Pro Day. He posted 39 bench press reps of 225 pounds that would have been third at the 2012 NFL Combine and a time of 4.70 in the 40-yard dash that would have been fifth among defensive linemen in Indianapolis.
Six former Cal players were selected in the 2012 NFL Draft that concluded Saturday including second-round picks in offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz (Cleveland Browns - No. 37 overall) and linebacker Mychal Kendricks (Philadelphia Eagles - No. 46 overall), third-round punter Bryan Anger (Jacksonville Jaguars - No. 70 overall), fifth-round wide receiver Marvin Jones (Cincinnati Bengals - No. 166 overall), and seventh round choices in defensive back D.J. Campbell (Carolina Panthers - No. 216 overall) and defensive lineman Trevor Guyton (Minnesota Vikings, No. 219 overall). Owusu is one of an additional five former Cal players to have been announced by NFL teams to have agreed to terms on an undrafted free agent contract following the 2012 draft. Wide receiver Michael Calvin (Atlanta Falcons), safety Sean Cattouse (San Diego Chargers), offensive lineman Justin Cheadle (Kansas City Chiefs) and tight end Anthony Miller (Denver Broncos) have also agreed to terms.
Additional announcements of former Cal players agreeing to terms on undrafted free agent contracts are expected soon but will not be made until after official announcements by the NFL team.