The Temple 22 guessing game

Temple football needs to be fun again and the only fun comes from winning and singing the fight song afterward.

Any shot at picking a starting Temple “22” for football on Jan. 18th is a guessing game.

Mix in COVID and a fluid roster situation caused by the transfer portal and it’s really throwing darts but here we are on Jan. 18 and the first game is September and, just from the roster currently posted on Owlsports.com this morning and the transfers coming in, we’re going to be taking a shot.

Lancine Turay

OFFENSE (11)

WIDE RECEIVER _ Jadan Blue, Randle Jones and Amad Anderson. The fact that both Blue and Jones are still listed on the roster is really gratifying from my perspective. Jones is the fastest wide receiver we’ve seen at Temple since Travis Sheldon and Blue is on pace to break all of the Temple career records. Anderson is an accomplished Power 5 transfer who can play the slot. This should be the strength of the team.

QUARTERBACK _ D’Wan “Deuce” Mathis. Temple’s never had a quarterback transfer in who started a game for a Power 5 team, like alone the first game for a powerhouse SEC team so this is a no-brainer. Mathis has big shoes to fill, replacing a guy who tossed 44 touchdowns vs. 32 interceptions. Mathis will have to cut down on the INTS since he threw 3 to just a couple of touchdown passes. Whatever, Rod Carey’s read/option is more suited to Mathis’ skills than Anthony Russo’s.

TU needs more help at LB for William Kwenkeu (35)

RUNNING BACK _ Iverson Clement, the first four-star Temple running back since Juan Gaddy (at least coming in although you can say anyone who was a Heisman Trophy finalist, like Paul Palmer was, played like a five-star). He will undoubtedly be pushed by R’Von Bonner, who did more at Illinois than Clement did at Florida.

TIGHT END _ David Martin-Robinson. The redshirt junior-to-be is steady as they come and had five catches for 72 yards in the 2020 opener at Navy.

OL_ Michael Niese and Isaac Moore (G) and Vic Stoffel and Adam Klein (T) with C.J. Perez at center. That’s a big, experienced, group.

(For those counting, that’s 11.)

DEFENSE (11)

ENDS–Will Rodgers III and Manny Walker. Rodgers is a sackmeister from Washington State, who recently posted on twitter that he “loves Philadelphia.” If he puts quarterbacks on the ground at the same rate he did in Pullman, Philadelphia will no doubt love him back.

TACKLES–Xach Gill and Lancine Turay, two transfers from North Carolina. Kevin Robertson will push both players for time.

LINEBACKERS _ William Kwenkeu, Audrey Isaacs and Jordan McGee. Kwenkeu was the defensive MVP in the 2017 Gasparilla Bowl.

SAFETIES _ Amir Tyler and Trey Blair. Tyler is the senior leader and Blair will be a future playmaker and leader.

CORNERS _ Ty Mason and Freddie Johnson_ Two solid players. Mason took the year off from COVID (he didn’t have it but was just afraid of catching it) and should be well-rested, albeit rusty.

Rodgers, Walker, Gill, Turay=4; Kwenkeu, Isaacs, McGee 4+3=7; Tyler, Blair, Mason, Johnson=4-7=11.

Is this lineup good enough right now to beat Rutgers on opening day?

I would say no because we need two “Kwenkeu-level” linebackers to join William and more depth along the defensive and offensive lines.

Still, there’s no doubt that Temple has improved from the Temple we last saw in November and adding a couple of linebackers should go a long way to turn what is projected to be a losing season into a winning one.

Friday: A dream matchup that never happened

13 thoughts on “The Temple 22 guessing game

  1. One more time is probably worthwhile, but just a shout out congratulations to Coach Arians for reaching the NFC Championship game. Wish he’d come back home!!

  2. Juan Gaddy was a four star recruit as a running back in the 1990s. He had injury problems and never met expectations.

  3. I expect Alex Odom to start alongside Amir at safety. No way we need any more LBs, we’re young and loaded with talent, expect Kobe Wilson to sneak into the starting lineup. Also don’t know if Jadan Blue is staying or not, did he earn his degree?

    • Jadan is still on the roster, so I assume he’s staying. Probably needs a big year to get drafted and I think he could have one.

    • Good potential but our defense was torched last year by players ahead of them in the depth chart. We need Power 5 level pass rushers, run defenders and pass defenders. We didn’t even have AAC-level defenders at any position last year. Our NFL draft guy, Dan Archibong, just played OK and Maijeh basically disappeared after getting first-team All-AAC honors two years ago. Hopefully, Carey uses those few schollies he has left for more big-time P5 talent.

  4. Any thought on WR Jose Barbon?

  5. Braswell and Jarman? 15 players and counting in one season. Carey is doing a great Chris Ash impersonation.

    “The players I inherited suck and are uncoachable”

    • Only at Temple can you think that the roster is set once the semester begins and then have people enter the portal after the semester has started. If Al Golden and Matt Rhule had magnetic personalities with regards to the players (and they did), Carey has a repugnant, repellant, personality. It has to be factored in any decision to keep him at the end of this season. In the end, it all comes down to winning. I don’t think 6-6 (which is the ceiling this year) saves him his job. Eight wins might do it.

      • Mike, what makes you think that the brain trust at Temple will get rid of Carey if he has only a 6-6 or worse season next year? It’s pretty well established that Temple doesn’t (or financially can’t) do that even when they should. And anyway, 6-6 may be mediocre but would put them into a bowl game which is plenty satisfactory at Temple – even tho Carey will lose as he always has and end up with a losing record. That’s plenty good enough, no?

      • Not to me, but you are right, to Temple it could be just fine–especially if Dunphy hangs around. If Temple hires an ambitious AD who sees what places like Coastal, Marshall, Louisiana-Lafayette, San Jose State, etc., are able to do, a big-time charismatic coach is in order.

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