Jayson Oweh was mentioned all offseason as a potential breakout candidate on the Penn State defense. Teammates raved about him.

But even after he picked up a sack and a tackle for loss in the season opener against Idaho on Saturday, he’s still being asked more about racing his teammates than his play on the field.

“Probably running the 40 and beating [defensive end Micah Parsons],” James Franklin said Tuesday when asked about the most impressive thing he’s seen Oweh do. “Micah won’t like to hear that and he’ll have something to say to me at the team meeting today when I see him, but yeah, I think -- everybody knew he was fast, but I don’t think anybody thought he was that fast.”

Penn State football defensive end Jayson Oweh (28) during the team's second practice of the preseason on Aug. 3, 2019. CRAIG HOUTZ / For the Inquirer
CRAIG HOUTZ / For the Inquirer
Penn State football defensive end Jayson Oweh (28) during the team's second practice of the preseason on Aug. 3, 2019. CRAIG HOUTZ / For the Inquirer

Oweh’s 4.33-second 40-yard dash that he ran in the spring speaks for itself.

“I was a little shocked, a 4.33 is kind of crazy,” Oweh said. “The way [coach Sean Spence and strength coach Dwight Galt] push your body in ways you didn’t think you could get to, it’s amazing.”

Oweh said that Parsons claimed the redshirt freshman defensive end had a false start in their first race, but Oweh said he still beat Parsons pretty handily on the second go as well.

“Stop talking, bro, it’s over,” Oweh said he told Parsons after beating him a second time.

Aside from developing his body in the weight room, Oweh has had to work on developing his football IQ and become more than just a quick defensive end who can get to the quarterback in a hurry –– like he did twice in his debut against Kent State last season.

“Coming in here, I was really raw –– I’m still a little bit raw –– but my idea of the defense has progressed because how [Spencer] has taught us,” Oweh said.

The progress Oweh has made in the last two years is similar to the quick progress Yetur Gross-Matos made, and now Oweh sees that same potential in one of his freshman teammates, Adisa Isaac.

“Adisa is like a mixture of me and Yetur,” Oweh said. “Me in the sense that his twitch and his speed. But Yetur in the sense of his motor. He just keeps running. He’s going to be really good.”