Back in a 2004 Presidential campaign one of the candidates had a signature line in his convention acceptance speech:
“Help is on the way.”
That turned out to be an unfulfilled promise because the guy lost.
First-year Temple head coach Rod Carey never uttered the phrase, but he’s delivering on some immediate help along the defensive line.
Kevin Robertson, a 6-2, 240-pound defensive end, committed to the Owls on June 7. That’s important because Robertson will arrive later this summer and be available to play immediately since he is a JUCO transfer from Fullerton (Calif.) College. It’s going to be hard for him to break a defensive end rotation that includes Dana Levine, Zack Mesday, Quincy Roche and Nikolaus Madurie, but he seems to provide depth there and an extra year of eligibility will give him a more prominent role in the 2020 season. He turned down an offer from Buffalo to come to Temple.
Fullerton is about as high-level a JUCO team as there is, winning the national title in 2017 and taking a 26-game winning streak into the 2018 season.
In the “helping hand” department, Baylor transfer Harrison Hand revealed on his Twitter account that he was all cleared to play this season. That’s huge because that gives the Owls two defensive backs with significant Power 5 experience as recently as last year when you add Penn State’s Ayron Monroe. Harrison was originally a Temple recruit who Matt Rhule poached when he left for Waco. DB was already an area of strength as Temple is the only FBS school in the nation to have two cornerbacks who returned interceptions for touchdowns (Christian Braswell and Ty Mason in the UConn and Tulsa games, respectively). Safeties Benny Walls and Keyvone Burton also have plenty of experience under their belts.
Carey and his staff seem focused on building some line depth for the future as this month they seem to be very excited about the addition of Chicago high school defensive lineman Demerick Morris (6-3, 284) who turned down Air Force and Toledo, among others, to make an early commitment to Temple. He had 15 sacks as a junior a year ago. The Owls will have to wait until 2020 for Morris to arrive, though.
The Owls also dipped into Europe to get an offensive lineman Liridon Mujezinovic (6-8, 290) from Holland. They already have one starting offensive lineman from Europe, Isaac Moore, and this is their third recruit from that continent in as many years.
If there’s one area of the Owls that seems to be a concern, it’s the current depth on both lines and the recruiting focus is just another sign that this staff gets it.
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