Isaiah Wright: Temple’s Answer


There are not many vexing questions out there regarding the Temple football team for 2019.

The Owls appear to be even more loaded next year than they were this year with the exception of one sore thumb question:

“Who is going to replace Rock Armstead as the elite featured back?”

The answer is right under our noses: Isaiah Wright.

matt rhule, temple football,

“If we didn’t have Jahad Thomas or Ryquell Armstead at tailback,  Isaiah Wright is capable of playing the position and I’m sure he would do a great job.” _ Matt Rhule, 2016

This is what Matt Rhule said about Wright after the then true freshman gained 48 yards on seven carries in a 38-0 win over Stony Brook in 2016: “The great thing about Isaiah is his versatality. If we didn’t have Jahad Thomas or Ryquell Armstead at tailback, Isaiah Wright is capable of playing thet position and I’m sure he would do a great job. The challenge, really for me, is to get him the ball a lot more.”

Rhule could never follow through because Thomas and Armstead were there to block Wright’s progress as a running back but at least he instituted The Wildcat for him. (I don’t like the Wildcat because everyone knows Wright is going to run when he comes out in it. The Wildcat is effective only if IW throws it 50 percent of the time and runs it the other half.)

Getting the ball to Wright was a challenge inherited by the Geoff Collins staff and, quite frankly, they have not been up to it. Wright doesn’t get the ball nearly enough even though Army coach Jeff Monken called him “a touchdown waiting to happen” in his assessment of the Owls before the 2017 game at Army.


Our picks for today’s games

For the record, I like Jager Gardner as well but, for some reason, Gardner has disappeared as the Armstead backup. He did score a nice touchdown at UConn. Gardner and Wright should battle it out as Armstead’s replacement and the Owls will be in good shape, but I think that’s a battle Wright would win given a fair opportunity. Tyliek Raynor as a third-down back (a Dave Meggett-type) would give the Owls a terrific trio of running backs next season.

First, though, Wright has to have every opportunity to grab the No. 1 job in spring ball.

The Owls can afford to move Wright from receiver to tailback because they are so deep at wide receiver. Randle Jones and Freddy Johnson return, as does this year’s true freshman Sean Ryan. The Owls have plenty of options at wide receiver.

“Armstead is the toughest running back in our league to stop,” Houston head coach Major Applegate said after the Owls won, 59-49, in Texas.

Putting Wright back there would give the Owls that same important advantage next year as well.



4 thoughts on “Isaiah Wright: Temple’s Answer

  1. Absolutely (w)right Mike, there should be a whole package for this kid in the playbook. Screens, draws, swing passes, sweeps, isos, you name it…..just get it in his hands. Dynamic football player.

    • Sadly, the results of today probably mean Temple is playing Virginia Tech in the Military Bowl. I would rather play Miami in Shreveport, Baylor in Armed Forces or Pitt in Military. I hope I’m wrong but you look at the Military Bowl people and they’d love to have the Temple fans and the VT fans pack that stadium. Don’t think Pitt traveled as well in its year there against Navy as Temple did against Wake and VT would probably bring a lot more fans than Temple. As always, follow the money. The only less attractive matchup is Vandy in Birmingham because we played them so recently. If Marshall had won, VT would have been eliminated and Pitt-Temple would have been a real possibility.

  2. The AAC did a good job. Cincy, Memphis, and USF should win. Tulane and Temple games could go either way. Houston will get smoked.

    Which LSU team will show up? IMHO UCF will not be able to go four quarters against a team that big, strong, and fast.

    Duke will be the hardest game all year. Temple MUST come to play, and can’t afford stupid penalties and Russo INTs.

    CC and staff hot and heavy on the recruiting trail.., Goal: find two freshmen who can start at one of these three positions – RB, CB, or DT.

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