Stan Drayton’s best job: Stopping the bleeding

Temple needs another Paul Palmer to have a winning season in 2023.

College football is a bottom-line business.

We won’t know for another nine or so months whether or not head coach Stan Drayton is doing a good job at Temple unless the number on the left (wins) is higher than the one on the right (losses).

For now, though, we have some clues.

The first transfer portal window is still active but, so far, the misguided decision of Darian Varner to leave Temple and the best defensive line coach he ever had (Antonine Smith) looks like it might come back to bite him and could be the only signifcant portal loss for the Owls.


Otherwise, Temple has kept its two best players (quarterback E.J. Warner on offense and Layton Jordan on defense) and that’s a reflection of those two guys buying into the vision of Drayton. His preaching that they are thisclose to winning a championship is reaching a choir.

First things first.

Keyvone Lee played his high school ball an hour up the road from Temple and is better than anyone the Owls have now.

To win, you’ve got to keep the good guys and add other good guys and Drayton is the polar opposite of former head coach Rod Carey in that regard.

Even in these days of crazy transfer portal happenings, Temple has kept most of the good guys.

The general long-term plan for Temple has to be getting in a Power 5 conference but the specific plan now is to copy the model of success established by other G5 teams.

Keeping their players.

Notice Vinny Testaverde, Paul Palmer, and Brian Bosworth all wearing Cherry and White at the 1986 Heisman Trophy ceremony.

According to transfer portal expert Mike Farrell, the two teams that kept the most players a year ago were Troy and UAB.

Temple is at the top of that list this year after being at the bottom a year ago.

Troy went from 5-7 last year to winning a G5 title this year. UAB also had a successful season.

Can Temple success in one area improve the bottom line?

That remains to be seen but the Owls did add explosive playmakers on the outside, depth on both the offensive and defensive lines, and speed in the secondary. The Owls even added an experienced kickoff returner and a deep kickoff specialist.

All things they needed.

What’s left?

Keeping the team together is one thing.

To me, they need a big-time 1,000-yard rusher and they don’t have one now. Thinking they can turn a true freshman, Joquez Smith, into one is way too much of a risk.

They definitely need a Paul Palmer, a guy who was overlooked because he was 5-9, 165 pounds out of Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Md. and, in Penn State portal guy Keyvone Lee, that guy is available. Paul is in his 50s right now and out of eligibility, but Lee could fit the bill.

Surely, Drayton knows.

Whether or not he sees Lee as a final piece to a puzzle almost finished could be the difference between 6-6 and 8-4 next season.

Friday: Design and Fashion


8 thoughts on “Stan Drayton’s best job: Stopping the bleeding

  1. Hope you didn’t speak too soon Mike, I see Kobe Wilson and Trey Blair just hit the portal this week. Now given that Blair couldn’t get on the field that much given the state of the running game last season don’t know if that hurts too bad. With Wilson and Varner gone from the D looking for some of the transfers coming in to be productive

    • Big question is whether TUFB will have enough players to hold a high speed Spring Practice w/o jeopardizing health or quality of performance?

      Aside from “that single digit”, everyone out the door is being replaced by a potentially better player. If you do a side-by-side look at the measurables, the dudes coming in are bigger, longer and faster.

      This is the best recruiting year since MR’s third yr.

    • Blair was a big disappointment. Kobe is a bigger loss but with Tra Thomas coming back and Layton Jordan coming back and McCargo playing so well at the end of the season he was going to struggle for playing time. Jordan Magee is probably the team’s best linebacker because Layton will probably be used as a hybrid DE/LB to rush the passer and create more TFL like the one at Navy where he scored a touchdown. Layton is more like a sackmeister DE. Wish these damn portal windows would slam shut between now and Sept. so we can work on the depth charts. First, I really believe we have to reach in and get one of those really good running backs who are still available. Rigby is a helluva player, too. We’re pretty deep at LB.

      • IMHO, TUFB priority needs:
        1. RB Coach – someone who can coach AND recruit
        2. RB – capable of going the distance on any down
        3. OT – no true tackles on the roster as of today
        4. WR – anybody w/potential to play on Sunday
        5. DL – depth chart is begging

        hard to recruit a top notch RB right now when you can’t tell’em who their coach is going to be

        Good news is TUFB has scholarships available and there is quality talent still in the portal

  2. Telling, the OC has not been aggressively looking for “his guy” to fill the RB coaching position.

    Wouldn’t you want to hire the RB coach if you were the OC? Makes you go, hmmm

    • Also, any information out there as to why the RB coach from Monmouth is no longer joking the staff? I saw reference to a Twitter post but nothing else. Don’t know what to make of the OC looking for “his guy”.

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