5 Redshirts Destined to Make an Impact for 2014 Temple Owls
5 Temple Owls Who Could Make An Impact
Every once in a while a player comes out of nowhere and makes an impact for your favorite college football team.
For the Temple Owls this past season, that player was wide receiver Robby Anderson, who played defensive back in spring ball, left the school for a while in the summer to take care of a personal matter at his home in Florida and came back to become one of the better receivers in the new AAC.
Arguably, Anderson, a redshirt sophomore, might have been the best receiver in the league. Against SMU he had 239 yards receiving, breaking the school record of 214 yards by Van Johnson. Against a very good BCS bowl-winning UCF team, Anderson caught eight passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns, and his three touchdown receptions in the final game, a 41-21 win at Memphis, gave him nine TD receptions in his last five games.
While Temple fans are justifiably excited about a recruiting class that will be announced one week from now to be the best in school history, there are potentially five Robby Andersons already enrolled at the university who redshirted this past season and could have a similar breakout impact.
This is a team that could easily go from 2-10 to 6-6 or better next year given the infusion of talent and the youth of last year’s roster.
Plus, sophomore-to-be P.J. Walker, the 2012 Newark Star-Ledger New Jersey State Player of the Year, could be the best quarterback the school has had since Henry Burris who went on to win multiple CFL Grey Cup championships as a legendary quarterback in Canada. Burris suffered through a losing career while at Temple, but Walker might have a lot more wins in his immediate future.
First-year head coach Matt Rhule red-shirted a number of impact players, some due to injuries and others do to building up their bodies for the rigors of big-time college football, and that could pay off big time in the 2014 season. Here are five redshirts already enrolled at school who could help him win a few bowl games.
5. Romond Deloatch
A talented tight and an wide receiver, Deloatch, who is 6-foot-4, 255-pounds, was switched to defensive end for a look-see for a few days and had seven sacks in one practice. Deloatch, who might have the best hands on the team other than Anderson, will probably be back at tight end, but don't be surprised if head coach Matt Rhule presses him into emergency service as a defensive end to bulk up the pass rush. He earned a medical redshirt after playing only briefly in the 2013 season and will enter this season as a redshirt sophomore.
4. Jabo Lee
Dillon, SC is a familiar place for thousands of folks who make the drive from the populated northeast to Florida every year, the home of the famous "South of the Border" stop roughly halfway between Philadelphia and New York and Florida destinations. If Lee, a running back, plays up to his potential, it could become better known as Jabo Lee's hometown. It was there where Lee finished his last full high school season as South Carolina's Player of the Year with 26 touchdowns and 1,600 yards. He flipped his commitment from East Carolina to Tennessee a year ago before ending up Temple. If he recovers from an ACL injury, he is headed for immediate stardom.
3. Leon Johnson
The "surprise" of the offseason on the offensive line at Temple is Leon Johnson, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound lineman who could have very well worked his way into the starting lineup. Johnson is athletic as a former star basketball player at Bound Brook (NJ). Even though all but one of the offensive line starters return for the Owls, Johnson could be the best run-blocker on the team by the season's end.
2. Buddy Brown
Brown, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker, was one of the most heavily recruited players in New Jersey as a senior. He turned down a Rutgers' offer to play for the Owls with his father, Shawn, saying, "Why would we go to Rutgers? We like Philadelphia and we're Eagles' fans. Why not play here?" The three-star Rivals.com recruit sat out the 2013 season rehabbing an injury.
1. Khalif Herbin
Herbin was the 2011 New Jersey Player of the Year a season before Temple quarterback P.J. Walker earned the same honor. If Herbin, a slot receiver who might be better suited as a third-down back, returns from bulking up this red-shirt year to make the same impact as Walker, Temple fans will be thrilled. It's easy to see why Herbin earned the honor as a legendary high school player at Montclair. In his senior year, despite playing in games that were over by halftime, he rushed for 1,940 yards and 43 touchdowns on just 139 carries (an astounding 13.1 yards-per-carry). His freshman redshirt was wasted when he was used for just five plays, but Rhule thought it would be beneficial to give him a sophomore redshirt which could pay huge dividends in 2014. Herbin is a tremendous punt and kickoff returner as well.