As Matt Rhule takes over the Temple Owls program and attempts to rebuild it into a Big East contender in 2013, he was forced to shake up the depth chart this offseason. Former fourth-string quarterback Connor Reilly has moved up into the starter’s spot and two former Temple quarterbacks are switching positions. Last year’s starter, Chris Coyer, has been moved to the H-back position and now Kevin Newsome will make the move to running back for the 2013 season.
It has been a long and windy college football career for Newsome up to this point. He started out as a quarterback for the Penn State Nittany Lions before taking a year away from football while attending Tidewater Community College in Virginia. He enrolled at Temple last summer the day before training camp opened, which didn’t give him much of an opportunity to challenge for the starting quarterback job and he fell to No. 3 on the depth chart and ran the Owls’ scout-team offense.
Rhule was looking to get the athletic Newsome onto the field in a new position when spring camp opened this offseason. He was slated to work out as the team’s new H-back, but a shoulder injury kept him out of a chunk of spring practices, opening the door for Coyer to come in and solidify his spot as the team’s hybrid tight end for 2013. The new head coach isn’t going to let Newsome’s talent waste on the sideline, however, and plans to incorporate him into the offense as a running back.
The Temple head coach feels that Newsome has the build to be a better running back than H-back, where he can avoid taking some of the grind that takes place in blocking the edge. At 6-foot-2, 231-pounds, he is a big-bodied runner with explosive speed. Last season, he took his first touch of the year 42 yards against the Louisville Cardinals, though he only gained 10 more yards on four carries the rest of the year.
With a whole offseason to learn the position, Newsome should enter 2013 with an excellent chance to secure a significant role in the backfield. Temple needs playmakers at just about every position as they make the transition to a more pro-style offense under Rhule and Newsome could be the man to get them there in the running game.