QB Casting Call

The Temperors held the first of two closed scrimmages on Saturday as even the Temple fans are getting ready. This should be on the Jumbotron pregame for Villanova (our suggestion).

If hint-dropping is taken into account, Frank Nutile would be under center when the Owls travel to Notre Dame on 9/2/17.

Hint 1: Nutile has been taking MOST of the snaps with the first team during camp so far. When Keith Kirkwood, Adonis Jennings and Ventell Bryant are all on the field at the same time, it has been Nutile throwing the ball to them.

Hint 2: On Media Day, Collins said “the team seems to move the ball better with him in there” and “guys tend to gravitate to him when he’s in the room.” That was all on a question about how he got the nickname of Frankie Juice.

Of course, Collins could be throwing us all for a loop and saying these things to throw the speculation one way and then call a play that goes the other. He does not strike me as that kind of guy, though. He did have his first of two closed scrimmages on Saturday night and the word was that “all four” quarterbacks looked equally good.

What Collins does have is not unlike a director looking for a lead man. He has four distinct types.


FRANK NUTILE_ Much more of a “Jim Plunkett” type than the other four quarterbacks. Not very mobile or flashy, but gets the throws where they need to be. Plunkett won a Heisman Trophy and two Super Bowls, so the strong silent type could be what Collins is looking for right now.

ANTHONY RUSSO_ Definitely more flashy than Nutile and called “the light who brightens up a room” by no less a quarterback authority than Trent Dilfer. Russo has been compared to the Atlanta Falcons’ Matty Ryan, because he is a similar “type” quarterback with functional mobility (the ability to get out of trouble in the pocket to make a throw downfield). Ryan, like Russo, is from one of the three Philadelphia City Leagues (Inter-AC, Catholic, Public) and Russo had the better high school stats against better competition. Getting Russo to stay home at Temple was, as Joe Biden might say, a big f’ing deal and Russo’s success with the Owls might have a Pied Piper effect. Temple tried to recruit two players from the Catholic and Inter-Ac Leagues before, one was Ryan and the other was Rich Gannon. Both became NFL MVPs. Russo had a more outstanding Philadelphia scholastic career than those two and his getting on the field sooner than later might to out to be a big benefit for the Owls.


LOGAN MARCHI _ When a group of Temple fans first saw Marchi’s high school film, they pretty much agreed that they were watching Johnny Manziel. The then Texas A&M quarterback used to duck out of trouble, like Marchi did in those clips, and make something happen with his feet—like a big gain in the run game or an explosive play in the passing game, even if the pass was thrown off the back feet. Marchi threw a couple of those back-feet passes in the spring game and was intercepted. Maybe it was more of an aberration than the norm, but he’s had to catch up since.

TODD CENTEIO _ Reminds me particularly of the guy they are trying so hard to replace, Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Phillip “P.J.” Walker. Like Marchi, he has more than functional mobility in the sense that he can get out of the pocket and make a big gain in both the running and the passing game. Walker looked to run a lot in his first two seasons, but enjoyed more success when he became a pocket passer in his final two seasons. Now the Owls are desperately seeking a guy like him and may be forced to burn a redshirt to get another version of Walker.

The first scrimmage, or reading, is in the books. It may take a second casting call before all the characters in this movie are aligned.

Wednesday: Ringing In The New Year

Friday: Perception Versus Reality




7 thoughts on “QB Casting Call

  1. It’s a good problem to have with multiple talented QBs but it could also be a bad problem. Russo was a 4 star recruit that was receiving power 5 offers…why waste a red shirt year from Centeio when they can play Russo this year and still have 4 more years of eligibility from Todd after this season? This is where the problem arises though…if Russo establishes himself as the starter this year then he will most likely be a 4 year starter which means Centeio won’t see the field until he is a 5th year senior..I don’t see him sticking around at Temple if he knows he can start somewhere else. On the flip side, if Centeio wins the starting spot and establishes himself as the next PJ walker then I don’t see 4 star Anthony Russo sticking around to ride the pine for 4 years. Either way, I think 1 of these 2 will be transferring to another school by next season.

    • Listening to the last five or so Patenaude interviews, his No. 1 point was the decision was not based on none of four being good enough to start but that all four are good enough to start. I only see one of the four possibly going on to an NFL career (due to height and mobility issues of the other three) and that is Anthony Russo. I would hate for Anthony to transfer to, say, LSU and become a NFL MVP. That would be “the old” Temple’s luck. If all four are equal, I would consider that point. If Centeio or Nutile or Marchi create separation in the final scrimmage, then go with one of those guys.

    • Absolutely agree !
      One too many QBs on this team.
      One of two things will happen.
      Either one of these guys will be the next Chris Coyer and transition to another position.
      Or one of these guys will transfer to a program where they have a shot as a starting QB.

      Probably will be next season.

  2. The only trepidation I have about not picking a starter is that it impedes preparing for ND. By this time one of these four has to have separated himself from the other three. It’s time to put in the offense for the ND game and give the starter the most reps with the first team offense. The coaches get credit for making it an open competition but enough already.

    Frankly, looks like Centeo is a hell of an athlete. Makes no sense not playing him at another position. Brian Broomel played free safety his freshman season because the qb position was filled.

    Last season it was clear that the team was not ready in its opener. Don’t want a repeat although I think the team was partly to blame because they took Army too lightly. Don’t believe that they will take ND the same way. In any event, pick a qb already and if one them transfers so be it. Kids transfer from Alabama all the time.

  3. A few thoughts…first, PJW wasn’t what I consider a true dual-threat QB. He was a step too slow for that description and definitely evolved into a very effective pocket-passer to your point. The issue with PJW was he took sacks a time very importune times. So my question is what are they really trying to replace from a skill set perspective and do you lose anything meaningful with Russo?

    Second, I agree based on HS performance Russo seems to have the highest ceiling but it’s up to the coaches to determine how that translates on the field. Despite the impressive talent we have at the skill positions I’m afraid we’re going to a spread that may reshuffle the deck. My concern is this might neutralize the impact of the best fullback in college football and chase out an NFL caliber QB. That I am all.

  4. its going to be Marchi

  5. we’ll have to keep six or seven in to protect our Statue of Liberty…, the kid will throw too many picks…, deja vu all over again.., we didn’t pick the best player at QB to win the game the last time we played in South Bend

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