In the midst of a head coaching change, a coaching staff overhaul, and a new group of young freshmen coming in, one thing remains the same in this new era of Temple football; single digit “tough guys”.
Numbers 1-9 are not easily earned as a Temple football player, as the team votes for the nine toughest players on the team who will don a single digit jersey.
The tough guy tradition was something new head coach Geoff Collins emphasized early in his tenure at Temple. He had no plans on changing, or stopping the single digit tough guy tradition.
Wide-receiver Keith Kirkwood was the first to be awarded a single digit number under Collins. The redshirt-senior wide-receiver will don the number five, worn by former standout running back Jahad Thomas, who will hope to hear his name called in next week’s NFL draft.
As for the first new single digit number to be awarded on defense, Junior safety Delvon Randall will be the newest player to wear the number two, alongside safety partner Sean Chandler who dons the number three.
Randall won the starting safety job in offseason camp prior to his sophomore season, and didn’t look back. Randall was seemingly all over the field in his first season as a starter, racking up 81 total tackles, and six tackles for loss. He also grabbed six interceptions throughout the season, including a key interception of Trace McSorley in week three against Penn State; he also had two fumble recoveries on the season.
Randall was ranked third in the AAC with five his five takeaways this season, and was awarded the Defensive Production Player of the Week for his efforts in week 11, a 31-0 shutout against Tulane.
Wearing the number two doesn’t come without a little history, and some added pressure. Look no further than the last player to wear the jersey, Avery Williams. The former leader of the defense, and multi-year tough guy, was one of the top linebackers in the AAC as a senior, helping lead the Owls to their second AAC East championship in as many years, and first every AAC Championship victory.
Williams was named Second Team All AAC in his senior season. He recorded 66 tackles in his senior season, to go along with nine tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and two sacks.
Another notable former player to wear number two is Tahir Whitehead. The former Temple standout, and current Detroit Lion played for the Owls from 2008-2011, where he helped lead the Owls to two winning seasons as a junior and season, and was also a Second Team All-MAC selection as a senior.
Other notables to don the number two include Anthoney Robey, and Andre Heblett. With the history and significance surrounding the single digits, and wearing the number two specifically, Randall will look to have another strong season at the safety positon. With a new defense, new coach, and a new defensive coordinator, Randall should thrive as a playmaking ball hawk in the new defensive scheme.
In the last edition of Temple Timeout for the semester, Bri Hofsass and Vince Coll break down the potential draft picks ahead of next week’s NFL Draft on the Ben Franklin Parkway. We also take a look at the spring Cherry and White game, and the Women’s Lacrosse senior game to be played against the Florida Gators.
And, for our last episode, we have a special surprise for you.
Stay tuned next semester for new episodes, and keep following @TU_SportsDesk on Twitter for the latest on the NFL draft.
Temple won in convincing fashion yesterday against Big East opponent Butler. The game was a complete blow out seeing the Owls thump the Bulldogs 19-7. Seniors Carly Demato, Kira Gensler and Brenda McDermott surged the team forward by all chipping in a hat trick.
Besides the opening minutes of the game, Butler couldn’t stick with the lady Owls. The first half saw Temple go on an unanswered 7-0 run making the score 8-1. Before the end of the half the Bulldogs were able to add 2 more scores while the Owls added 3. This put the score 11-3 at the half.
Butler opened up the half by scoring first, but Temple was able to answer immediately with 4 straight goals. The Bulldogs tried to fight back and rallied off three straight goals, but the Owls simply had too much fire power. Temple ended the game on a 4-0 run making the final score 19-7. Although this games was a lopsided battle Butler only boasts 1 win on the season, so the victory was expected.
Once again, McDermott scored a hat trick making it five straight wins in which she has done so. Along with the other hat tricks from Gensler and Demato, Maddie Gebert, Michelle Koscinski, Quinn Benintende Anna Frederick, Olivia Thompson and Nicole Barretta were all able to get in the scoring column.
The lady Owls now improve to 12-2 on the season and keep their undefeated record at home. Temple will face yet another Big East foe, Vanderbilt, on the road on Saturday, April 15. Look for the Owls to try and improve their conference record and continue on their winning streak
It is that time of the week and this week were are definitely feeling the Fever here at Temple Update.
That’s right, Temple’s very own Feyonda Fitzgerald was drafted by the WBNA in the second round by the Indiana Fever last night. Vince and Bri will also have your women’s lacrosse highlights, who are currently on a hot streak and looking to clinch a number two seed in the Big East conference tournament.
Temple women’s basketball player, Senior Feyonda Fitzgerald, has just been drafted to the WNBA.
Fitzgerald was drafted in the second round by the Indiana Fever, and this will mark the fourth Temple women’s basketball player to be drafted.
Fitzgerald had an exceptional senior season, where she averaged 17.3 points and 7.3 assists per game. The senior was also tanked amongst some of the best players in the country for assists per game.
During the season, she helped Temple women’s basketball win the Philadelphia Big 5 tournament, and helped them appear in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011. At the end of the season, Feyonda set an assist record for a single season and assists in a career in the program.
Fitzgerald also ended up being the second all-time scorer in programs history.
Other prestigious Temple players who have been drafted to the WNBA include Candice Dupree in 2006, Kamesha Hairston in 2007, and Shey Peddy in 2012. These are the only players in programs history to be drafted to the WNBA.
The coming of a new season signals both excitement and wonder. Temple football fans are feeling both of those emotions at the moment. The excitement stems from consecutive 10-2 win seasons and a new expectation of excellence within the program. The wonder is a result of impact players such as Dion Dawkins, Phillip Walker and Jahad Thomas graduating or moving onto the NFL. As these players walk away, it opens a gap for new or under valued to talent to jump onto scene. So, without further ado, let’s check out my offensive breakout candidates.
Ryquell Armstead, RB – 5’11, 205lbs
Okay, I never said every player on this list would be a previously unknown player. As all Owl football fans should know, Armstead was extremely efficient this past season. Jahad Thomas spent the first 2 games of this season dealing with a wrist injury allowing the former 3-star recruit to come onto the scene. He rushed for a total of 919 yards and 14 touchdowns. I’m guessing you’re wondering how he could be a breakout candidate if he already is came close to running for 1,000 yards. The answer? No more Jahad Thomas. When Thomas returned to the team he took over lead running back duties. From that point on Thomas ran the ball 207 times while Armstead only had 126 carries. As the lead back I expect Armstead to burst onto the national stage.
Additionally, the team is rumored to be switching to a zone-read offense. If this holds to be true it only benefits him. While Armstead is a well-rounded back two of his best qualities include strong vision and his ability to make moves in space. The zone read allows him to flash both of these strengths. Not to mention, the uncertainty at quarterback will only increase his usage. I fully expect Armstead to be the focal point of the Owls offense this upcoming season.
This is another case of a senior graduating, so someone needs to step up. Dion Dawkins is heading to the NFL and leaves a huge (both physically and literally) hole in the line. All indications point to Jaelin Robinson being that guy. At a massive 6’6, 325 pounds Robinson definitely fits the mold of an offensive tackle. He’s extremely and athletic for a man his size. This can most likely be attributed to his history as a basketball player. He uses his experience on the court to his advantage. Basketball has helped Robinson develop quick lateral movement and has solid hands on the line. Actually, as a sophomore at Wilbur Cross high school he lead his team to a state semi-final playoff game. According to the Temple News, it wasn’t until his junior season of high school that he began playing football. Even with playing a mere 2 seasons of high school football he was able to gain interest from Syracuse University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Iowa, the University of Wisconsin and of course, Temple University.
Don’t just take it from me though. Head Coach Geoff Collins recently was quoted saying that Robinson has been one of the most impressive players in the team’s offseason conditioning program. Also, former first-team AAC All-American offensive lineman Eric Lofton was quoting as saying, “This guy is going to be a f—ing star.” Last season he played in 12 games giving him valuable in-game experience. While Robinson said he was open to playing either of the guard or tackle positions, but it seems more likely he will be slotted in at tackle. At that position, his lead competitors are Leon Johnson and Cole Boozer. I anticipate this battle to go on past the spring, but eventually end with Robinson running away with the starting gig.
2017-18 Projections – Wins the Right Tackle position, eventually makes the move to Left Tackle
Adonis Jennings, WR – 6’3, 205lbs
I know Keith Kirkwood’s name could be here based on the way Geoff Collin raves about him, or even returning leading receiver Ventell Bryant- but I’m going with a different receiver: Adonis Jennings. The University of Pittsburgh transfer flashed potential of greatness last season. In two of his final 3 games Jennings had 6 or more receptions and over 100 yards receiving. Further than that Jennings was a highly rated recruit coming out of high school. 247Sports ranked him as a 4-star wide receiver, so obviously the talent is there. Jennings has just had a difficult time tapping that potential. He’s been buried in a wide receiving core of Keith Kirkwood and Ventell Bryant which has hurt his production. Also, while Phillip Walker improved on his throwing ability in the pocket he lacked of sense of consistency. During this past season, Walker only completed 58.2% of his passes which ranked 74th overall among eligible quarterbacks. This limited the amount of catches Jennings received in a game. With the change in coaching, quarterback and his hot ending to last season one can assume Jennings will get more opportunities with the ball in his hands.
In the film I’ve looked over of Jennings it’s clear he’s a threat every time he touches the ball. Specifically, I looked over the film against Wake Forest in the Military Bowl. Throughout the game Jennings proves to be the most reliable receiver. He shows his ability to track deep balls on his first touchdown and flashes his capability of turning a short out-route into a full sprint to the end zone with his second. He uses his body well to shield off defenders making it easier for him to make contested catches. Besides Ventell Bryant, Jennings is the most athletically gifted wide receiver on the team. What I like most about Jennings is his desire to improve. In an interview in the beginning of last season with Philly.com’s Marc Narducci he said, “I wasn’t satisfied at all with my personal goals…Personally for myself I feel I will do way better than I did last year.” Jennings did just that, tallying over 300 more yards and 2 more touchdowns. I expect Jennings to continue to improve this season and at the very least be the Owls reliable deep threat.
2017-18 Stat Projections: 40 receptions, 800 receiving yards, 5 touchdowns
The Owls have spots to fill on offense and need people to step up. At the end of the day, the team is full of talent, so don’t be surprised if someone else comes to take the spot. With that being said, Ryquell Armstead, Jaelin Robinson and Adonis Jennings are who I anticipate to capture the spotlight.
Temple continued their winning ways with another victory over Big East rival Villanova on Saturday. Seniors Carly Demato and Brenda McDermott lead the team to a 13-11 victory with 3 goals apiece.
Villanova controlled a duo of three goal leads for the majority of the first half, but Temple’s Morgan Glassford was able to cut the deficit to 2 goals with just 0:48 left. From there, the Owls didn’t look back.
Coach Bonnie Rosen’s bunch opened up the second half with 2 goals bringing the game to tie early. Back and forth the game teetered, ultimately resulting in a total of 5 ties throughout the game. It wasn’t until the 7:08 mark that Brenda McDermott was able to put the team ahead for good. She even chipped in a final goal for herself in the final minutes which all but sealed the Owls victory.
For McDermott, she has had a hat trick in each of these four straight wins. This game also saw Morgan Glassford become the all-time draw control leader in Temple history with a whooping 162 in her career.
With this victory the lady Owls improve to 11-2 on the season while Villanova falls to 3-9. The Owl will now turn their attention to new BIG EAST member Butler, home at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12.
As one era ends, another begins. This season the Temple Owls are tasked with finding a replacement for perhaps the most important player in the past two seasons. Phillip Walker. Walker lead the Owls to two straight 10-win seasons, an AAC Championship and two seasons ranked inside the top 25. Now the Owls must regroup. As Geoff Collins enters his tenure with the team, he must first decide (with the help of Offensive Coordinator/QB’s coach Dave Patenaude) his signal caller for the 2017 season. His candidates are: redshirt-sophomore Logan Marchi, redshirt-junior Frank Nutile, redshirt-freshman Anthony Russo and incoming freshman Todd Centeio. Let’s break down the competition.
Logan Marchi – 6’0/190lbs
If the season started tomorrow, Logan Marchi would almost certainly be the starting quarterback for Temple Football. Although Offensive Coordinator Dave Patenaude said in camp he’s putting no emphasis on first and second team practice snaps, the Connecticut native has been the first quarterback with the starting offense for most of Spring. As far as on the field production, even Marchi’s small sample size is more than most of his competitors. In his limited action, Marchi has played in 5 games, attempted 6 passes only completing 2 for a total of 27 yards. Not much to examine here, so we turn to his high school tape. Marchi displays fantastic pocket awareness. When you put on his tape you can tell he has a natural feel in the pocket and knows how to escape pressure. He struggles with stepping up in the pocket and is much more likely to scramble and make something happen with his feet. This, along with his 4.50 speed, can account for the 789 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns.
During Marchi’s high school career he amassed 9,702 passing yards and 112 touchdowns. It’s evident he’s mobile, but the tape showcases really nice touch on deep passes. His ball location on throws like the back shoulder fade and the 10 yard out prove his ability to be an accurate passer at the collegiate level, but he will need to straighten up his throwing mechanics to do so. If nothing else, Marchi is arguably smart enough to understand and lead a complex college offensive, being he was named to the 2015 American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team. Look for Marchi to be a real contender in this quarterback race.
Frank Nutile – 6’4/220lbs
Besides Marchi, Nutile is the only Owls quarterback with in game experience, but also like Marchi there’s not much to breakdown. In 6 career games, Nutile has thrown 5 passes completing all but 2. He totals just 40 career passing yards, which all came in the Owls’ homecoming matchup in 2015 against Tulane (3/3 40 yards), and one career passing touchdown. In 2015, Nutile was the primary backup quarterback, but this past season saw him battle Marchi, and lose that position for the next man up. It’s hard to have too much proof of who was or wasn’t the next man up the past two seasons because Phillip Walker started all 28 games.
Nutile has strong pocket awareness, but lacks the ability to escape pass rushers. Nutile does not pose much of a threat as a runner and is far more content sitting back in the pocket and making the precise throw. In terms up stepping up in the pocket and delivering a good pass Nutile seems comfortable. Like Marchi, he shows a strong arm and an accurate deep ball. His accuracy overall is more consistent than Marchi and his throwing mechanics are more fundamentally sound. He finished his high school career at the powerhouse Don Bosco Prep with 3,100 passing yards and 28 touchdowns. Nutile flashes his leadership and intelligence from leading his high school team to the NJSIAA Non-Public Group 4 State
Semi-Final and by making the 2015 President’s Honor Roll and being selected to the 2014 American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team. Nutile will definitely play a key role in this quarterback race.
Anthony Russo – 6’3/220lbs
On this week’s “Temple Timeout,” Owlscoop.com’s Kyle Gauss told Vince and Bri he believes the QB race is a two-man battle between Logan Marchi and Anthony Russo.
For the Owls, Russo has probably been their biggest quarterback recruit in years. While Russo has no experience at the collegiate level his list of high school accomplishments are impressive. He’s a three-year starter at another high school football powerhouse Archbishop Wood, an Elite 11 finalist and graduate, a first team all-state selection, the Catholic League MVP and Maxwell Awards Tri-State High School Player of the Year. Overall, there’s no denying he’s a gamer. Russo is similar to Nutile in a lot of ways. Both are pro-style, who don’t do much outside of the pocket, and both are 3-star recruits. When you turn on the tape though, Russo is more polished as a high school quarterback. This isn’t to say that Russo is the better player now, as Nutile has more experience and has seemingly improved, but Russo has been impressive.
Of all the quarterbacks, Russo’s high school career is the most illustrious. He is arguably the best pocket passer of the group and delivers the best deep ball of the group. His strong footwork and throwing motion allow him to put a lot of speed and accuracy behind his passes. During his time in high school he was exposed to a very pro-style offense giving him experience with all types of throws. He finished his high school career with2,500 passing yards and 35 touchdowns.If there’s one weakness to Russo’s game it’s his mobility. He lacks the ability to escape the play which was a common occurrence in the latter years of quarterback Phillip Walker. Russo’s age puts him at a disadvantage to capture the starting quarterback position, but it wouldn’t be the first time a young quarterback took the reins of a strong team. Don’t be surprised if Russo makes some noise as he continues to compete for the position.
Todd Centeio – 6’0/205lbs
Todd Centeio is the outlier of the bunch. He’s a true freshman and is coming in out of Palm Beach Gardens, FL. While Centeio seems to have the slimmest chances of the bunch, you can never say never. Centeio spent time at two different places William T. Dwyer and Royal Palm high school. Before transferring to Dwyer he recorded over 2,000 passing yards and 27 TDs in two seasons. His senior season was more fruitful than his junior season. He threw for 2,344 yards and 31 TDs and rushed for four TDs in that season and earned first-team Palm Beach Football 8A-6A honors. Obviously, he’s a successful quarterback, but how does he stack up to the other quarterbacks?
Centeio is another pro-style quarterback. His game resembles Anthony Russo’s in a number of ways. Like Russo, Centeio is a good in the pocket passer and prefers to sit back in the pocket instead of use his feet. Although, unlike Russo, Centeio can use his legs if need be. When Centeio reaches the second level he turns into a shifty runner making him dangerous to opposing defenses. Video surfaced on Twitter from Temple Athletics of Centeio running in a designed QB run for a touchdown in a spring practice in late March, and you can bet the coaches took notice of that. To point out weaknesses, Centeio sometimes struggles to deliver strong passes. His inconsistent footwork and throwing motion account for several wobbly and inaccurate passes. However, due to the amount of upside in the true freshman, expect him to take the season to redshirt and tighten up his game. That isn’t saying with a great spring and summer he couldn’t win this job, but with 3 other quarterbacks, it isn’t looking likely.
At the end of the day, only the coaches really know who is ahead in the quarterback race. One things for sure, it’s going to be very interesting to see who comes out on top. The return of every receiver from last season and leading rusher Ryquell Armstead should ease the transition for any of the signal callers. Look for the Cherry and White game on April 22nd to shed some more light on the competition.
On this week’s edition of Temple Timeout, Vince Coll and Bri Hofsass are joined by Kyle Gauss of OwlScoop.com to discuss the upcoming season and the battle for that quarterback position. Logan Marchi, Anthony Russo, Frank Nutile, and Todd Centeio are all vying for the position.
Bri and Vince also take a look at the women’s lacrosse team, who are playing their best game in the history of the program, sitting at 10-2 overall.
Temple Lacrosse is on fire. On Wednesday, the Owls, lead by Brenda McDermott took down Cincinnati. The game wasn’t the girl’s prettiest this season. In total the Owls committed 21 turnovers, which equated to their second highest total all year. It took some time before either team got on the board, but the Bearcats stuck first. The first half became a back and forth affair with Cincinnati holding onto a 4-3 lead going into the half.
The beginning of the second half wasn’t kind to the Owls. The Bearcat’s Elaina Enich lead the team in opening up an 8-4 advantage with little under 13:00 to play. The then teams exchanged goals at around the 9:00 mark making the score 9-5. The Owls needed a spark and got it in the form of Brenda McDermmot. Down the final 8:00 stretch, Temple scored 4 goals, three of which coming from McDermott. Finally, with just 1:33 left to spare Carly Demato scored the go ahead goal. Just for good measure Anna Fredrick chipped in the final goal for the Owls making the final score 11-9.
The team is now 3-1 in the Big East and holds its best record in the past 20 years. They will now enjoy a two game home stand and prepare for Big East and long-time rival Villanova this upcoming Saturday.