By Mike Gibson @papreps on June 19, 2014
It’s not going to be easy, but great things seldom are; and if Temple is to go bowling for the first time since 2011, a lot of things are going to have to break right for the Owls of second-year head coach Matt Rhule.
Of course, the Owls' Holy Trinity of marquee players—quarterback P.J. Walker, center Kyle Friend and linebacker Tyler Matakevitch—will have to stay healthy, but there are five other reasons why the Owls could go bowling.
Rhule’s learning curve was all over the figurative strike zone, but he showed signs of getting it by converting two QB sneaks for first downs in the UCONN game after eschewing the same play that would have beaten Rutgers on fourth-and-three inches. Sometimes the obvious play is the right one, but Rhule and Temple tried to turn game day coaching into rocket science at times and a lot of those ideas blew up on the launch pad.
Averee Robinson, who had five sacks in the 2013 spring game, could be the next star. Robinson might be better suited as a 3-4 nose guard instead of a 4-3 tackle, but he could be a darn good 4-3 tackle as well. He’s a three-time state heavyweight wrestling champion in Pennsylvania and gap leverage could give him a dominating advantage. He’s got good bloodlines. His brother, Adrian, is a former MAC Defensive MVP.
When Temple lost sophomore phenom Robby Anderson to academic issues in January, Rhule made it a priority to recruit Anderson-type wide receivers to take his place. No one gave Anderson much of a chance of being a star prior to the 2013 season, but he was. Now one of those true incoming freshmen must similarly make an impact. Temple needs only one to separate from the pack, much like Anderson did a year ago.
In Shahid Lovett and Alex Wells, the Owls recruited a pair of All-American JUCO DBs who are ready to step in and claim starting positions right away. Also, in former Virginia Tech commit Cequan Jefferson, the Owls nabbed a cornerback who was rated No. 1 in the country at his position among prep school players. Incumbents like Anthony Robey (pictured) will have a tough time holding onto their jobs.
Before Doug Flutie arrived on the campus of Boston College in the 1980s, that school was just another eastern player in college football. When he got there, though, Flutie became a quarterback who single-handedly put BC on the national map. Walker, the former high school player of the year in the state of New Jersey, has the ability to do the same for Temple as its QB.
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