That big-time JUCO


2017_09_21 Athletics STAR Complex

In the old days before portals and graduate transfers, college football coaches would turn to big-time JUCO players to fill a need for a year or two.

It still should be one of the three options.Screenshot 2019-05-23 at 9.14.48 AM

Temple is pretty well set up in every position this season, save depth on the offensive line and starting running back.

Since Rod Carey seems very reluctant to pull the trigger on making Isaiah Wright a full-time running back, a big-time JUCO seemed to be the way to go earlier in the offseason.

Unfortunately, the latest “big-time JUCO” running back who joined Temple as a preferred walk-on, doesn’t seem to have the credentials (1,000-plus yards, 25-plus touchdowns, 4.5 speed).

Mike Mitchell is the latest JUCO recruit to commit to Temple and his stats are just about the opposite of those above. Playing for ASA Junior College, he put up these numbers:

Screenshot 2019-05-21 at 8.50.42 AM

Going back even further, his most impressive game in high school at Pleasant Valley in Brodheadsville was a two-touchdown performance in a 36-27 loss to Allentown Central Catholic on Sept. 3, 2016. By comparison, the guy who scored five touchdowns in that game, Darnell Ferrell, is at West Chester University.


Looks like a scout team player at worst or a backup cornerback at best.

Still, there is a bigger time JUCO on the Owls’ roster already and he already has a spring practice under his belt at Temple. Tayvon Ruley’s JUCO stats were a little better: 1,028 yards and 13 touchdowns on 120 carries. Before that, he was even better at Penn Wood High in Delaware County.  By most accounts, Ruley had a very good spring with the Owls and forced his way to near the front of the running back room and has a chance for a lot of carries this fall. Tyliek Raynor and Jager Gardner are also in the mix and Jeremy Jennings might be the fastest running back of them all. Still, he doesn’t seem to have the open-field moves that the others have.

Wright, though, is a big-time player way above the JUCO grade and the Owls are lucky to have him.

As a Temple fan, you’ve got to hope a special talent like Wright gets that important job first and make whiffing on a big-time JUCO running back look like a moot point.

Sunday: What the AAC and Temple Can Learn from Boise State

11 thoughts on “That big-time JUCO

  1. I’ve been reading your blog for a few years and this is the first time I’ve ever seen you highlight a player negatively to make a point. A little surprised to see that… let’s hope the JUCO transfer makes the most of his opportunities at Temple. That’s something our Owls have always been champions of.

    • not so fast.., even Mike Mitchell would have to agree w/what was written. Facts are facts, good or bad. Would Mike Mitchell disagree with the facts? No.

      Let’s all hope he commits to improving his game and making better facts in the future. Heck, there could be a legitimate reason we don’t know.., maybe the coaches know something about him outside the facts.

      This blog is the best TUFB blog.

      • I’m sick of KJ. He always asks the same questions without any insight. Of course we dont know the brand, they havent played. Is KJ even a season ticket holder like us? If not, shutup with ur repetitive comments.

      • KJ is cool. It’s OK to be skeptical. I think Carey will prove his skepticism wrong, but the great thing about America is everybody gets an opinion. I know he loves the Owls as much as I do and that’s the most important thing. To me, the trolls who love guys like Collins more are the problem not the guys who love the Owls.

    • Mike’s point was not aimed at the player but at the head coach who signed the player despite his being a one star at best. The player did not cost the Owls a scholarship like signing Andy Reid’s kid did and being a walk-on may motivate him. In any event, even if the player doesn’t improve, the Owls have a scout team back and don’t have to risk the health and safety of a scholarship player for that purpose. In my experience a player on the offensive scout team is exposed to much more contact than a defensive scout team player because coaches do not want offensive players hurt. On the defensive end, practice is essentially live except that there is no taking the offensive scout team player to the ground.

      • Definitely not the kid, more the coaches for taking him on; he’s got credentials that would be a stretch for West Chester and Kutztown, let alone Temple. Welcome, Mike. Prove me wrong. Thanks for the kind words kj and John. As far as the best Temple blog, this blog has been named as the best non-Power 5 blog. I appreciate the sound endorsements from ex players like John, Matt Powell, Paul Palmer and Steve Conjar, who love the blog. I will take that over the criticism of a nondescript Joe Blow any day of the week.

  2. and, as far as Collins goes, no sour grapes at all. I was ecstatic when he left for Georgia Tech. Not for him, but for Temple. I’ve written many times in this blog that if he didn’t have the gonads to get rid of Dave Patenaude (and he didn’t), Temple would be better served by his departure than not. Getting Carey for Collins is a huge net gain for Temple. That will be proven 9/28/19. Georgia Tech fans, enjoy Patenaude.

    • big fan of Collins, no. However, he did play true freshmen which greatly benefits Carey and the 2019 team. The roster lists eight true seniors, all of them will start. Barring injury, a some will definitely play on Sundays.

      Collins played three true freshmen last after playing none in his first year. Those three will be legitimate pro prospects in a few years.

      2019 will be the best year for the Owls over the five year period 2017-2021 if Carey is worth a grain of salt. Why? Starting experience. Six grad students, eight true seniors, and seven red-shirt juniors will start.

      BTW, I live in Hawaii and still manage to make it back for two games every year.


  3. Seems like we’re always in the “could have and should have been better” mode (even with Rhule). I give Golden a pass because he saved the program and brought respectability. Because of their quick departures it’s a toss up between Daz and Collins for the most unfaithful – altho, somehow, Collins had 2 winning seasons and bowl games (how he and Patenaude pulled that off and beating Cincy last year is a mystery). I really like Carey’s aura, but we’ll see how it pans out. And if it does will he stick around?

  4. Completely agree that it’s an awesome blog… I look forward to every update! I was just surprised by Mike calling the kid out by name and stats without him playing a practice down. Not Mike’s usual style… I’m sure he’ll find his way to praise the kid if Mitchell proves out. I know we all hope he does.

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