As Allen Iverson once said, talking practice is different than talking games and, while there will be a Cherry and White game on April 16, even that is still practice. The important thing is doing it in a game, but to get in a game, you’ve got to do it in practice.
That’s why everything that happens until the kickoff of the Army game in September has to be taken with a boulder, not a grain, of salt. Exhibits A through E are these five April phenoms who were were not as phenomenal when the real games started in the fall.
- Khalif Herbin
At Cardinal O’Hara in 2014, Herbin was the key player for the White team in a 10-9 loss to the Cherry squad. Herbin, the No. 1 draft choice of that squad, caught a 66-yard touchdown pass from Connor Reilly in the game. “The whole team recognizes what Khalif can do,” Temple head coach Matt Rhule said. By the end of the next season, he was gone, a victim of injuries.
- Ventres Stevenson
On April 26, 1986, a freshman running back named Ventres Stevenson was the best player on the field and, according to head coach Bruce Arians, “the outstanding player during our spring practice.” He led the White squad to a 17-7 win over the Cherry squad. Stevenson finished with 86 yards on 16 carries, but finished the season as third string behind Heisman Trophy runner-up Paul Palmer and second-teamer Todd McNair, both future Kansas City Chief players. Stevenson later became a very good back for the Owls, but just not that season.
- Vaughn Charlton
In the 2008 game, Charlton—wearing the Orange jersey—led the Cherry to a 21-6 win at the Edberg-Olson Complex. The Orange jersey meant the quarterback could not be hit and that always made a difference for Charlton, who went 13-for-28 for 209 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Adam DiMichele went on to be the starter that season and only a Hail Mary loss at Buffalo kept the Owls from being bowl eligible. DiMichele thrived on contact and seemed to make some of his better plays after getting hit by defenders and spinning out of contact. Charlton had the tools but never reacted as well to contact.
- Louis Angelo
With Louis Angelo calling the signals in the 2001 spring game, the Cherry beat the White in the most lopsided game ever, 36-0. Angelo threw a pair of touchdown passes. By the start of the season, Angelo was behind starter Mac DeVito and backups Mike McGann, Devin Scott and Collin Hannigan. He did not throw a pass that season.
- Myron Myles
In 2011, a freshman running back named Myron Myles—at least that was the name he was going by at the time—gained 133 yards and scored two touchdowns on 20 carries and led the White team to a 27-26 win over the Cherry squad. (Myles also caught a touchdown pass.) Bernard Pierce sat out the game, but, in the fall, led the Owls to nine wins and a bowl game. He was recruited to Temple from Wissahickon High as Myron Ross. Myles later transferred to Millersville, where his best game (114 yards) came during the 2014 season.
Wednesday: In Search of a Punt Returner