Season One of the big four-star transfer to Temple had mixed reviews.
Mixed might have been a generous way to describe the reviews of Dwan Mathis’ first year as the quarterback with the Temple football Owls.
Those expecting the 2020 Georgia opening-day starter to become one of the better AAC quarterbacks right away were sorely disappointed. A lot of that wasn’t Dwan’s fault as he missed too much time with injuries.
Except for one glimpse of brilliance in a win over Memphis, Mathis underperformed. Six touchdown passes against only four interceptions won’t get any AAC all-star votes.
Now, new head coach Stan Drayton said after the eighth practice that he “is bringing other quarterbacks in” to compete for the job.
Before camp, Drayton said he would wait until after the Cherry and White game so evidently he has seen enough.
That leads to the question “who da man?” and, for now, the answer still has to be Dwan Mathis.
Mathis certainly has the talent to rise above whatever competition Drayton brings in here but he has to win the job fair and square. Shortly before camp last year, the coach who shall remain nameless said Mathis was going to be the starter.
Competition at all positions makes the team better and that seems to be Drayton’s thinking now.
According to the latest NCAA database, another former Georgia starter, J.T. Daniels, is still in the transfer portal but he was rumored to be leaning toward West Virginia. Sports Illustrated said former Florida starter Emory Jones is “open to everyone” and that could be an option for Drayton to consider. Jones has more experience than Mathis, having tossed 19 touchdown passes against 13 interceptions in limited time as the Gators’ QB. He’s a similar dual-threat quarterback, having run for more than 800 yards in Gainesville.
Drayton could also dip into the FCS ranks. There are a number of former starters there looking to be an FBS starter and Temple could provide that opportunity. That avenue worked for Western Kentucky. The Hilltopppers tabbed Bailey Zappe out of tiny Houston Baptist and he helped them turn a 5-7 season in 2020 into an 8-5 season in 2021 by tossing 60 touchdown passes. Now Zappe is projected to be as high as an NFL No. 2 draft choice.
If the Owls can find someone like that, the whole outlook changes around here and that’s a good thing because quarterback is the most important position on the field. If competition makes Mathis a better QB, the organization will be better off.
Friday: Cherry and White Preview
Monday: Cherry and White Recap