Matt Rhule assures concerned fans that the first two plays on every series won’t be runs this season.
Less than a couple of weeks ago, head coach Matt Rhule talked about the incoming group of football players at Temple University.
Usually he’s taking about kids who typically come on campus the week after the July 4th holiday.
Usually, but not always.
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There’s an interesting group of seven players already enrolled on campus.
In the “Magnificent Seven” are two three-time Pennsylvania state wrestling champions in John Rizzo of Johnstown and Averee Robinson of Harrisburg.
Paul Layton is a punter to keep an eye out for in spring practice.
I think two of them have really good shots to start.
If I had to handicap now, I think Layton is a lock to start and Robinson, whose game reminds me of Joe Klecko’s, is right behind him.
Layton is particularly intriguing to me because, for the last three years, I’ve had nightmares of Brandon McManus drawing a roughing-the-kicker penalty and not getting up. That’s a helluva way of losing an NFL-caliber placekicker. I told his dad as much a few times. He assured me it would not happen.
Fortunately, he was right and my nightmares were wrong.
Now that Temple has a dedicated punter, I hope they never use him. (Sorry, Paul, but I’ll take touchdowns and Jim Cooper Jr. field goals over your punts any day of the week.) Still, if Temple uses him, he looks like a good one.
Since he’s a grad student, like Montel Harris was, I’ll call Layton “The Montel Harris of Punting.”
If he has the same positive impact on the program that Montel does, he’ll be more than worth the scholarship.
Robinson, like Joe Klecko, has tremendous gap leverage and three Pennsylvania state heavyweight championships to demonstrate the ability. His game is more like Joe Klecko’s than Dan Klecko’s in that he would be the perfect nose guard in a 3-4 defense. Dan Klecko was more of a natural 4-3 tackle. Robinson is very hard to block, like both Joe and Dan were. If anyone can be trusted for gap control it’s a Joe Klecko or an Averee Robinson.
It’s not going to be easy beating out guys like Hersey Walton and Levi Brown, but Robinson certainly has the ability to do it.
When practice gets underway on March 22, we’ll get to see these players.
|Dion Dawkins||OL||Fr.||6-5||330||Rahway, N.J||Rahway||Hargrave Military Academy|
|Paul Layton||P||Sr.||6-1||215||Burnt Hills, N.Y.||Ballston Lake||Albany|
|Jihaad Pretlow||DB||Fr.||5-11||185||Elizabeth, N.J.||Blair Academy|
|John Rizzo||FB||Fr.||6-1||221||Johnstown, Pa.||Richland|
|Averee Robinson||DL||Fr.||6-1||285||Harrisburg, Pa.||Susquehanna Township||Milford Academy|
|Adrian Sullivan||OL||Fr.||6-5||270||Babylon, N.Y.||Babylon||Worchester Academy|
|Kiser Terry||DL||Fr.||6-3||260||Feasterville, Pa.||Neshaminy||Milford Academy|