There’s been plenty of talk about the offensive weapons the other Lincoln Financial Field tenant, the Philadelphia Eagles, have and, while a case can be made that DeSean Jackson and Darren Sproles and Zach Ertz and Carson Wentz are formidable, the other permanent locker room down the hall is stacked as well.
In Isaiah Wright, the Temple Owls have one of the top 15 most exciting players in college football and can line him up everywhere and, in Anthony Russo, the Owls have–according to at least one expert–the No. 22 quarterback in college football.
Mix in tight ends Kenny Yeboah and David Martin-Robinson, wide receivers Jadan Blue and Branden Mack and a promising young running back named Re’Mahn Davis, and the Owls have all of the ingredients for offensive success this year in the weapons department.
No one knows what the offensive depth chart will look like when it’s released in about a week, but we can say for certainty that Anthony Russo will be the No. 1 quarterback and Toddy Centeio will be No. 2. Nos. 3 and 4 Trad Beatty and Kennique Bonner-Steward are also in the room with a new face, former St. Pius X (N.J.) quarterback Matt Vitale. It’s probably the deepest group since the Matty Baker/Lee Saltz days.
Running back is another story.
We don’t know who will be the running back yet but, from all reports out of camp, Davis has impressed. Is that enough to beat out veteran Jager Gardner, who has also had a good camp? That’s why this depth chart is so fascinating. Wright also worked a full week at RB, so he’s a fallback plan. Gardner is the best blocker of the group.
What is know is that the offensive line is set, which includes Rimington Award candidate Matt Hennessy at center, Jovahn Fair and Lansdale Catholic product Vince Picozzi at guard, and Isaac Moore and Adam Klein at tackle. That was pretty much last year’s starting until that shoved the ball down Houston’s throats to the tune of 59 points one of the few times offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude gave proper emphasis to the running game.
The second offensive line unit features a whole bunch of new names but, among them, the versatile Leon Pinto, who can play both guard and center, has stood out.
If any spot is going to benefit from the lack of real hitting in camp, it’s going to be that offensive line group but you’ve got to wonder if the lack of physicality is going to carry over into September games against Maryland and Georgia Tech.
It’s a gamble that head coach Rod Carey has taken before and is willing to take again. The proof will be in the taste of the pudding or whatever Temple fans taste at the post-game tailgates. Winning makes everything taste better.
Friday: Zamani’s Slideshow from the Season-Ticket Party
Saturday: What’s Out of Our Control?