|Schedule is subject to change.|
Looking at the spring football roster makes me remember my playing days when I took a tumble on the slanted concrete courts outside my grade school in the Far Northeast.
I’d check to see if all five fingers and 10 toes were still there.
Right about now every year I check the roster to see if all the “good” guys are still there.
Looking over the roster this spring, I must admit I’m rather bummed that POTENTIAL breakaway running back Montrell Dobbs is not listed.
I have to assume he’s gone.
I guess the assembled media will find out why on Friday, the opening day of spring practice.
Time to concentrate on the guys who ARE here, not the ones who aren’t.
Right now, the starting tailback is Jamie Gilmore and the backup is Kenny Harper and everyone else is crossing fingers on the incoming freshmen reporting for duty in July. Gilmore was the No. 7-rated all-purpose back in the nation coming out of North Marion (Fla.) High two years ago. Harper is another Floridian, who was better known for his defensive play at Gainesville Buchholz. The RB depth chart drops off significantly after that. Like Grand Canyon dropoff.
A position change I suggested a few weeks ago is to give Khalif Herbin a long look at running back this spring. He’s bigger and faster than Matty Brown and just as elusive, if not moreso.
If Herbin goes from slot receiver to RB, he’ll be doing exactly what Brown did four years ago.
Position changes that have benefited Temple in the past:
BRIAN BROOMELL _ As a true freshman out of Sterling (N.J.) High, Broomell started as a strong safety on defense for the Owls. He was a helluva hitter and player on defense. By the time he was a senior, though, he switched over to quarterback and led the nation in passing efficiency. The Owls won a school-record 10 games. Called the greatest and least stealth audible in Temple football history when he lined up to take the snap in a 42-10 win at Villanova, pointed to wide receiver Gerald “Sweet Feet” Lucear, pointed to the end zone and threw a touchdown pass right where he pointed. Very Babe Ruth-esque. Was the Edmonton quarterback in the Canadian Football League in 1980 and 1981.
MATTY BROWN _ Kid made play after play in the summer, but coach Al Golden said he had to switch Brown to running back because they couldn’t get him the ball in the slot enough as a 5-5 receiver. Brown then went on to make four years of great plays for Temple. Probably the toughest running back, pound for pound, in Temple football history. Had he remained as a slot receiver, that would have been the greatest waste of talent ever.
KEE-AYRE GRIFFIN _ Went from running back in the 2008 season to cornerback. In the 2011 game against Penn State, KAG made a spectacular interception of Matt McGloin that nearly sealed the win for the Owls. Griffin was mostly a lock-down corner the rest of his career at Temple and had a pick to the house that kick-started a rout of Kent State. Fumbled in a 2008 overtime loss at Navy and coach Al Golden had to rescue KAG from under the bus to make the move to DB. (I still think AG should have punted and made Navy go 80 yards in 17 seconds with no time outs left.)
AHKEEM SMITH _ Went from running back to linebacker and was a solid, if unspectacular, player for Temple. Channeled his inner RB as the short man on a fake punt in a 34-0 win over Buffalo on 2011. He went straight up the gut on a short snap and took it 44 yards to the house. Smith, an All-State running back out of Bethlehem Liberty, was blocked in a running back career due to the presence of Brown and Bernard “The Franchise” Pierce. The Owls had a need at linebacker and he filled it. Another Liberty product, Levi Brown, now starts for the Owls.
JOHN RIENSTRA _ An All-American offensive guard for Temple, Rienstra begged coach Bruce Arians in to play nose guard on a key series against defending national champion BYU in a game at Veterans Stadium. Rienstra forced a field goal with a sack and a tackle for a loss. “That shows you what a great athlete John is,” said head coach Bruce Arians. “He’s just a tremendous competitor.” Highlight of Rienstra’s Temple career might have been appearing on Bob Hope’s All-American Show with the greatest college football helmet in history (simply, TEMPLE) shown proudly to the national TV audience. Rienstra was an under-recruited 5-foot-10, 170-pound lineman out of Academy of the New Church in Bryn Athyn. By the time he left Temple, he was 6-3, 265.