Rising Stock for 5 Temple Owls

By now, everyone knows who the key players will be for the 2023 Temple football Owls.

The names roll off your tongue like quarterback E.J. Warner, wide receivers Dante Wright, tight ends David Martin-Robinson and Jordan Smith, and defenders like corner Jalen McMurray and hybrid DE/LB Layton Jordan.

All of those guys are poised for stardom.

From what we hear, at least five guys who weren’t previously on the radar used the spring to raise their own stock and some of the names are surprising.

Dwan Mathis, WR _ Went through growing pains as a wide receiver last year and at times looked disinterested. No more. Even the defensive coaches are noticing. New DC Everett Withers said that Mathis was the one Temple player who stood out to him the most. “I even told him that,” Withers said. “I’m proud of you.” Mathis always had athletic ability. Anyone who catches a touchdown pass (as a quarterback no less) in the Georgia spring game (as Mathis did) shows that ability. Now all he has to do is catch a couple in a real game and he could be a big factor for Temple in 2023.

Dwan Mathis has been all smiles this spring and that has to make Temple fans happy.

Landon Morris TE _ A transfer from Utah, Morris caught at 10-yard touchdown pass in the spring game from Warner. That’s a position of strength for the Owls with DMR and Smith but Morris certainly showed ability by making a defender miss and getting to the end zone.

Sam Martin, SAF _ Martin was a big-time running back in high school but switched over to defense last year. He was really the only player to show any ability on kickoff returns and might be pressed into service in that area if the Owls are reluctant to use Wright on returns. In the spring game, he intercepted Warner.

Camden Price, K _ Price grabbed the job from Rory Bell last season and has shown no signs of giving it up. In the spring game, he made all three extra points and field goals from 41, 25 and 22 yards without a miss. How sweet would it be for the former Miami Hurricane kicker to nail the game-winner against the Hurricanes at Lincoln Financial Field this year?

Dante Alton, P _ Averaged 42.5 yards on two punts and appears to be a solid replacement for fellow Australian Mackenzie Morgan.

Since the spring game, the Temple coaches have been hitting the portal and don’t put it past them that another newcomer we don’t know about now will have the kind of spring that puts them on the radar.

Friday: A Must Story that the National Media has Missed

Monday: A Scheduling Pattern Has Been Detected


What Mathis being named starter means …

About this time five months ago, new Temple head coach Stan Drayton gave tepid praise to incumbent quarterback starter D’Wan Mathis, saying this:

“We’re going to bring in some guys to compete with him.”

If Mathis can become a fan favorite in Georgia, he can do that in Philadelphia too.

That was after the Cherry and White game. Nice game for Mathis, but nothing special.

True to his word, Drayton brought in those guys–Elijah Warner and former Virginia Tech starter Quincy Patterson–and, after a healthy competition, Mathis retained his job.

At least for the Duke opener.

Thursday, Mathis was named the starter for the Duke game one week from tonight and that can only mean one thing.

Former Michigan State, Ohio State, and Georgia commit D’Wan Mathis is shown here starting the 2020 opener for Georgia.

Mathis, a former Elite 11 four-star quarterback, rose to the occasion to beat out Patterson, a former Elite 11 four-star quarterback.

We’ve checked the game notes of the other 10 AAC teams and none of them have an Elite 11 quarterback.

Temple now has two.

Duke has none and that’s one reason why you’ve got to like Temple’s chances a week from now (7:30 p.m., ACC Network).

It’s not even fair to say Mathis showed flashes of his Elite 11 quality in the 2021 season.

He showed flash as in one, the Memphis game. If Mathis showed flashes, maybe the Owls steal a win or two in the other AAC games. It was a damn good flash (35-for-49, three touchdowns) but it was a one-and-done nonetheless.

We needed to see more and it’s an even better sign that Drayton needed to see more.

Now he has.

Maybe he’s a guy who needs a fire lit under him and, in Patterson, that’s a lot of lighter fluid.

Patterson went 7-0 as a North Dakota State starter last year and, except for Cincinnati, you can make a strong argument that North Dakota State would have beaten every other AAC team, including Houston and UCF.

He’s a nice insurance policy to have should Mathis falter.

So far, Mathis has shown no signs of faltering and that’s a good thing. This is the third-straight year that Mathis has won a starting job. He started for Georgia in the 2020 home opener and Temple in the 2021 opener at Rutgers, beating out another Elite 11 quarterback (Re’al Mitchell) for the honor.

Memphis was objectively a better team than Duke last year so is 35-for-49 and three touchdowns out of the question next week?

Certainly not and, if Mathis puts up those numbers again, the Owls are guaranteed to have a nice flight home.

Monday: All’s Quiet on The Southern Front

Friday: Temple-Duke Preview

Saturday: Duke Game Analysis