The protection on Ownbey's wrist is the result of broken bones suffered while still in high school, and unfortuantely the injury hasn't healed properly.
"The wrist is still broken, but it's going to be based on how I play as to whether I get surgery before or after the season," Ownbey told BlueGoldNews.com. "Hopefully it will be after, because that will mean I'm playing this year."
The rugged Ownbey doesn't let the distraction of broken bones bother him on the field, however. In fact, the physical linebacker claims that there's no pain involved, even during contact drills.
"The pad that I have on keeps the wrist from moving and keeps it from bending back, which is what gives me the most pain. It doesn't really hurt out there at all."
Of more concern to Ownbey than something as 'minor' as a broken bone is the speed and intensity of the college game. Like most high schoolers getting their first taste of collegiate action, Ownbey is trying to adjust to the frenetic pace.
"The game is just a lot faster," Ownbey said after his indoctrination at WVU. "Guys hit harder, and there's a lot more mental stuff. In high school you can just go out and play. In college, you have to think more, you have to read better, and you have to put everything together at once."
"It's ten times more intense than college, even without full pads. It's just a big, big difference."
Ownbey prepares to work on pass drops from his linebacker position