By Mike Gibson @papreps on July 23, 2014
When Louisville's Marcus Smith was drafted in the first round by the Philadelphia Eagles, he told a story of how he went from being a highly recruited quarterback to a defensive end. Charlie Strong, the Cardinals’ coach, allowed Smith to play on defense one day, and Smith made so many plays they just kept him there and he was never a quarterback again. Here are 5 Temple Owls who could benefit from a similar switch.
Currently playing defensive tackle in a 4-3 alignment, Robinson — a three-time Pennsylvania state heavyweight champion in the large school division — has the kind of gap leverage and arm strength that would make him a nightmare for opposing centers as a 5-2 nose guard. Robinson and teammate Hershey Walton could pull off that position switch and make the Owl DL that much more effective.
Now a slot receiver, Herbin — arguably the Owls’ top home run hitter on offense — probably needs to get his hands on the ball as much as possible, and a slot receiver typically is targeted no more than 5-7 times a game. Former Owl running back great Matty Brown made the move from slot to halfback, and Herbin — two inches taller and 20 pounds heavier than Brown — probably needs to make the same move in order to get 10-15 touches. At the 2:10 mark of his video, the song says “Jerry Jones Money, you a running back.” In Herbin’s case, that’s true.
Now playing LB, Finch plays the game with a healthy dislike of quarterbacks and has shown a history of getting to the passer as he had 17.5 sacks over his last two high school years as a DE. The Owls are deep and talented at LB, and moving Finch to the line would benefit both units and bolster the Owls’ pass rush.
While Harper is on Doak Walker Watch List as one of the nation’s top tailbacks, he is a better blocking fullback and his mere presence in the backfield as a blocker could help spring faster teammates like Herbin, Zaire Williams, Jamie Gilmore and Jabo Lee to big gains. Harper can still be an effective inside runner for 5-10 carries a game, so the move would be a win-win for the running game.
Deloatch, a tight end, was “punished” for missing practice last year by being switched to defensive end and responded by taking his frustration out on Owl quarterbacks. He now has what is believed to be a Temple live practice record of eight sacks, and head coach Matt Rhule said he was seriously considering using him there, at least part time. His story sounds so much like the one of Louisville’s Smith that maybe Deloatch needs a longer look there.
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