Just a guess on number’s games

Only two players on the current Temple roster return inheriting their single-digit roster numbers.

One of the byproducts of the next month will be to find seven other guys to join Chapelle Russell (3) and Shaun Bradley (5) as the toughest non-offensive linemen on the squad.

Taking a guess at the other spots is a little like filling out the March Madness brackets next week: A fun endeavor but probably not 100 percent foolproof.

The good news is that there are probably about 20 deserving tough guy candidates out there. Before the players even vote, we’ll take a guess at these seven with the assigned number in parenthesis:


Dan Archibong (photo by Zamani Feelings) is a good bet to earn a single digit.

Dan Archibong (9) _ For my money, the toughest and most talented player along the defensive line and ready to take the mantle from Michael Dogbe as the leader on the defensive interior.

Zack Mesday (4) _ Granted a fifth year of eligibility (see above video), this tough guy worked his way from walk-on to starter following the same path of fellow walk-ons to starters Nick Sharga and Rob Ritrovato so we will give him the same number.


Anthony Russo (8) _ Probably deserves P.J. Walker’s former number due to having to deal with the punishment of working with former offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude, whose concept of max protect was telling Russo to slide. Russo should thrive under a system with a little less RPO and a little more emphasis on the run game and play-action.

Isaiah Wright (1) _ Anyone who makes first-team All-American as a special teams’ performer is a tough guy. For the first three years of his time at Temple, two coaches have talked about getting the ball “more” in Wright’s hands but there’s only so many plays a wide receiver or wildcat quarterback can get. If Wright moves to tailback, he’s going to get the ball 15-20 times a game more and Temple’s offense should be 15-20x as effective.


Sam Franklin (7) _ Franklin has been a “jack-of-all-trades” for the Owls, playing safety, defensive end and linebacker and effective in all three spots. It takes a tough and smart guy to learn three positions at the same time. He’s been a great leader who will probably slot into a starter’s spot wherever he’s needed.

Branden Mack (6) _ Nobody made more clutch catches in traffic than this former Cheltenham High star, including the catch that tied Cincinnati with 22 seconds left in regulation. Mack rips the ball out of defensive backs’ hands. That’s a tough guy.

William Kwenkeu (2) _ Wearing No. 35, Kwenkeu was the defensive star of the Gasparilla Bowl, a game he registered his first career start and had a pair of sacks. Due to a change in coordinators last year, he did not play as much as he should have but he has both the talent and toughness to reclaim his spot in the lineup.

Saturday: First Impressions



7 thoughts on “Just a guess on number’s games

  1. good sign when all the starting LBs could wear single digits…, think one of the safeties could step up and earn one..,

    jury is still out on the QB.., can he step up and establish himself as one of the top QBs in the conference? The Owls will fly high if Russo finishes the season as All-Conference first, second, or even third team..,

    how can this team minimize the ‘new coaching staff take a step back in the transition first year’?

    for one, keep things simple, don’t unpack everything in the first year!!

    Two, play the cards you are dealt. Put your best players in the best position for success, i.e., RPO with Russo seems stupid and stubborn.., Wright is your best RB.., etc.,

    Third, and most important, embrace Temple tradition. Don’t waste time re-defining Temple Tuff. find a way to put as many former players on the sidelines for every home game..,

    those are some of the things we’ll all be watching from Carey and crew

  2. another important note is the number of walk-ons who have joined the team within the last nine months…, I can’t remember when Temple has had this many walk-ons going into Spring Practice.., normally not a good sign, so let’s hope for a few diamonds to emerge.,

  3. Apparently transfer visits occurred today. Does anyone happen to know who visited?

    • They usually keep these things hush/hush because it would be bad if the names leaked out and did not go to Temple. We will learn only if the kids commit and that’s probably the way it should be

  4. My understanding is there aren’t many scholarships available. True?

  5. Pingback: 2019 Owls: Less Hype, More Hope – Temple Football Forever

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