Camp Phenoms: Russo, Mack, Jennings, Mason


Sometimes camp phenoms work out and sometimes they don’t.

When I was a cub reporter covering the Philadelphia Phillies, they had a kid named Jeff Stone who was hitting line drives all over the place for the entire month of March.

Nice kid, but not the brightest bulb on the ceiling. After a 4-for-4 night at Clearwater, Stone looked up into a full moon and said:

“Look at that moon. Would that be the same moon we have back in Missouri?”

True story. The reporters cracked up.

Stone did not last long, but this group of Temple tough guys are smart enough to get admitted to Harvard on the Delaware (what my Sports in America professor Norm Kaner called Temple) so they should make an impact:

(Disclaimer: These are not the only so-called phenoms, but the ones who have had the most mention in preseason practice reports.)

“I cannot stress enough
how much better Anthony Russo
looks this preseason and how
well that reflects on the
entire offense.”
_ Shawn Pastor, Editor,

Ty Mason, cornerback

The true freshman has been perhaps … perhaps .. the most impressive corner of the spring, breaking everything up coming his way but will be second team because Rock Ya-Sin earned a single-digit and has locked up one corner and Linwood Crump Jr. is one of the three fastest guys on the team and has the other corner down. Still, Mason’s play has head coach Geoff Collins gushing that “we have five corners who can start for a lot of teams in this league.”

Jeremy Jennings, running back

Jennings—currently behind Ryquell Armstead and Jager Gardner—is THE fastest guy on the team with a 4.3 40 and a legitimate home run threat. It’s interesting that he’s faster than Armstead, whose. 10.8 in the 100 meters in his senior year in high school was the fastest in New Jersey during his senior year down the shore. Injuries at that position could place Jennings, from Downingtown, in the spotlight sooner than expected.

Branden Mack, Cheltenham

Temple has an interesting history with Cheltenham players.  Sid Morse (who announcer Don Henderson pronounced the name as “Morris” for four years) was a great running back. He was perhaps the best of several great players the Panthers sent to North Broad Street. Now Mack, who has caught everything in sight this summer, moves to the top of the list. He’s forced his way into a rotation that includes Isaiah “Touchdown Waiting to Happen” Wright and Ventell Bryant. If he frees Wright up to play some more snaps at running back, the Owls are that much more of a dangerous team.

Anthony Russo, Quarterback

Shawn Pastor, editor of, tweeted: “I cannot stress enough how much better Russo looks this preseason and how well that reflects on the entire offense.” Pastorini is almost always right and Russo’s improvement gives Temple an insurance policy and competition at the most important position on the field.

Wednesday: What They’re Saying About Nova

Friday: Seeing The Forest Through The Trees

Sunday: Game Analysis


12 thoughts on “Camp Phenoms: Russo, Mack, Jennings, Mason

  1. This tells us what the story has been regarding minimal playing time for Russo the last two seasons. Russo should be commended for his loyalty and honesty….he stayed and worked to get better (apparently realizing he simply wasn’t good enough) rather than pout and transfer.

    • Russo has played better than Nutile over the last month…,

      Phillip Walker looks like the third QB for the Colts, who would have thought?

      Does Nutile have the ability to play in the NFL? We’ll soon find out.

      All spells good for Temple, I’ve always thought Temple could not get to the next level w/o NFL talent under center.

      Walker led Temple to a Conference Championship, will Nutile or Russo follow? Interesting questions

  2. I’m rooting for Ty Mason who is from Silver Spring MD and a graduate of Hubie Blake HS, which is actually an art school. Love to see him perform a Picasso Pick Six.

  3. Well here’s a partial-sequiter Mike: while I feel TU is a damn good school, wouldn’t Penn be a bit closer to being a “Harvard on the Delaware?” Or is their campus closer to the Schuykill, a much smaller river. They’re both Philly schools. If not Penn what about Lafayette, an Ivey sister school?
    Anyway, just gettin’ nitpicky.
    Is Mason a Tyler student? I graduated from Tyler with Mike Stromberg, a NY Jet linebacker back in the day.
    It would be nice to see Russo get some snaps – he deserves it.
    Really pumped for Saturday. Go Owls.

    • Harvard? Non-sequitur. Temple can’t be compared to any school. Perhaps Columbia with FBS or a cooler Arizona State with water.

    • That wasn’t me saying Temple was Harvard on the Delaware. That’s what esteemed Temple prof Norm Kaner (a class that only seemed like me and 30 football players) would tell his Sports in America students. Tongue firmly implanted in cheek on his part.

  4. Mike… long time no comment! Thanks for all your devoted work for TU football. I’ll be following along here faithfully. I also appreciate your loyal and knowledgeable commenters. Always good insights. Go Owls! We have a nice contingent of TU grads/Owls fans in our newsroom — including an Archbishop Wood grad who’s anxious to see Russo get some game action. Best… Rob

    • Thanks Rob….I will have to research the wfmz bios and look for wood grads…best case scenario Saturday is juice gets us a 34-10 lead at the half and Russo throws 5 more tds in the second half….Jay Wright never takes prisoners against us in hoops nor should we in football

  5. Columbia is an Ivey on the Hudson, but not on the Delaware. And that’s why last year’s game was embarrassing. Hope the coaches woke up.

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