Summer Practice: Picking Up That Can


As a matter of comparison, what has happened at the quarterback position since the departure of P.J. Walker has been simply a case of kicking the can down the road.

More precisely, four cans.

This summer’s practice isn’t all about picking up the can with the best ingredients but it will be the most intriguing development.

Collins, correctly, postponed the decision on starter until the summer practice that begins in a couple of weeks.

It probably won’t be announced on the first or second week, but probably settled on by the third or fourth week. No one would be surprised if it was revealed a few days before the Sept. 2 game at Notre Dame. Game notes being what they are, and a national television audience being what it is, the crew of the game probably would want to do their homework on the Temple starter on something other than the morning of the game. So don’t expect a game day surprise.

As it sits now, I cannot tell you who will start.

Collins probably couldn’t either.

That’s because no one really has separated themselves from the other in the four weeks of spring practice. Will it happen in the summer? Possibly, but it’s also possible that the talent level will be so close other factors have to be considered.

In Toddy Centeio, the true freshman from Florida, the Owls have a high upside guy. Maybe the highest. Still, when was the last time a true freshman led a team to a P5 or a G5 title? That’s probably the best reason for a redshirt year that includes time leading the scout team, building up muscles in the weight room and loading the head with modern offensive concepts in the film room.

That leaves Anthony Russo, Logan Marchi and Frank Nutile.

In Russo, the Owls not only have their highest-ranked quarterback recruit since Ron Dickerson was able to convince Kevin Harvey to take his Parade All-American certificate to Temple, but one of the top three recruits of any school from one of the three big Philadelphia City Leagues. Russo has a better pedigree that even a couple of NFL MVPs, Rich Gannon (St. Joseph’s Prep, Delaware) and Matty Ryan (Penn Charter, Boston College). Both Gannon and Ryan had 20 touchdown passes in their final year of high school play; Russo had 35. Same level of competition.

The Owls could go to Nutile, a game manager type who was nowhere near as effective a high school quarterback as Russo.

The appeal of Marchi is that he has the mobility none of the other three have and he’s a year farther along than Russo. Given offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude’s stated fondness for a dual threat quarterback, Marchi might be the slight clubhouse leader at this point.

Collins and Patenaude will kick these cans down the interstate as long as they can, but somewhere between here and South Bend they will have to settle on one. Right now, they would prefer one of the guys to be so much better than the other three that the player, not the coach, decides.

That’s what summer practice is for but it’s also to make the tough coaching calls if a player doesn’t take advantage of the opportunity.

Friday: Class Warfare

Monday: House Money



10 thoughts on “Summer Practice: Picking Up That Can

  1. let the QB situation resolve itself by demonstrated performance AND by the student athlete who gives the Owls the best chance to beat ND..,

    so what will be the game plan to beat the ND defense? the new ND DC was with Wake last year, he knows our personnel well

    no doubt this is the biggest question mark going into summer camp over the last five seasons…,

    if you have four QBs who can start, how many starting QBs do you have? football wisdom says zero

  2. Have to wonder how Russo would handle not being picked as the starting QB. Based on his HS career and picking Temple with an expectation of becoming a starter, would he sulk through the season and then choose to transfer to another school?

    • I don’t think it’s in his DNA to sulk. He’ll probably go the Temple TUFF route and stick it out through the season and see if they give him a fair shake. One thing that’s almost certain: If anyone gets the job, there will be a short leash. I don’t think this staff will put up with interceptions and fumbles. If you get in there and perform to a high level, you will keep the job.

      • I hope you are right. It’s also probably in his DNA to turn out as at least a very good (if not great) Temple QB. I still don’t think Russo came to N. Broad to sit. If not named starter this season and he winds up seeing very little action, still worried about possibility of losing him to another program.

  3. this is a bluebird unique occurrence.., this summer is about picking the QB that affords Temple the best opportunity to beat ND..,

    CC should be smart enough to grasp the true depth of the moment.., you have the rest of the season to make adjustments, switch, etc…,

  4. “Still, when was the last time a true freshman led a team to a P5 or a G5 title?”

    Obviously, this is not the greatest comparison for the sake of this article, but Jalen Hurts led Alabama to an almost-undefeated season (and SEC title) last year as a true freshman.

  5. Louisville was a G5 school when the freshman Terry Bridgewater had a 132.4 passer rating, Lamar Jackson had a 126.8 rating as a freshman…,

    this is not about frosh, soph, sr, etc.., this is all about what Temple QB can beat ND?

    the argument here is devise the plan first, then decide who can best execute the plan…, play to win the biggest game in Temple football history.., this game is bigger than the last ND game

  6. I have come to the conclusion that Rhule decided to leave well before he announced it. He certainly would have given Marchi and Nutile a lot more playing time if he was not thinking of leaving. Not giving one of those two more game experience is a travesty and another reason to criticize him. The cream will rise to the top in the QB race and I think after a summer of workouts, Russo will be the starter.

  7. Huge surprise: Isaiah is Mr. Wright and will start at QB. Frank, Logan, Anthony, and Todd will compete in Boy Band this Fall Season on ABC as Hooter and the Diamond Dogs.

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