Rhule’s position changes: Genius

The most impressive thing about this video is Kenny Harper’s speed  to the ball and tackling ability.

Matt Rhule’s position changes have been nothing short of genius so far.
Alex Jackson looks like he’s going to work out better as a DE than a TE, a move I suggested in this post way back on March 20th.
Chris Coyer looks like a triple-threat guy at H-Back.
Cody Booth, always one of the team’s best blockers as a tight end, looks like a real plus at OT and and an added threat for the tackle eligible pass in the goal-line package.

Kenny Harper

Kenny Harper

Romond Deloatch looks like a downfield threat at TE and a situational pass rusher at DE.
Wayne Benson looks like a playmaker at LB and a dynamic fullback option for the goal-line offense.

Still would like to see Khalif Herbin move from the slot to backup tailback, like Matty Brown did as a freshman, but someone explained that Herbin did not build up enough upper-body muscle to make that move. Still, I think Herbin is a natural-born running back who can stop, start, find holes and be the kind of home-run hitter Temple needs. Plus, the Owls have a Herbin-like slot guy in Jalen Fitzpatrick.

Plus, Rhule is all about getting
the team’s best 22 players
on the field and,
in my humble opinion,
if Kenny Harper isn’t playing
at running back, he’s still one
of the team’s best 22 players.

Now that Zaire Williams appears to have won the starting tailback job, as we hoped two weeks ago, the one glaring position upgrade need is over on the defense at safety and Temple has one superb safety on the team.
Kenny Harper, who Williams beat out for the starting tailback job, would be the perfect solution to the Owls’ safety problem on the defensive side of the ball.
Harper (see graph below) was one of the top-rated safeties in talent-rich Florida and the leading tackler for two straight years for the Gainesville Buchholz football team.
What did Temple lack last season?
Good tacklers at the free- and strong-safety positions. Harper is a hitting machine with the speed to play either position and rush the quarterback as a blitzer.
Not very many positions need an upgrade by now, but playing safety is like riding a bike. If you’ve won the Tour De France before, like Harper has done at the safety position, it won’t take more than 10 days to get rolling down that road again.
Plus, Rhule is all about getting the team’s best 22 players on the field and, in my humble opinion, if Kenny Harper isn’t playing at running back, he’s still one of the team’s best 22 players.

2011 Florida Pre-Spring Top 25 Safeties


1. Ha’sean Clinton-Dix 6-2 195 Orlando Dr. Phillips Has similar skill set to Matt Elam
2 JaJuan Story 6-4 192 Brooksville Nature Coast Rangy talent also is receiver recruit
3 Wayne Lyons 5-11 185 Fort Lauderdale Dillard Super smart hitter moves from LB
4 Lamarcus Brutus 6-1 185 Port St. Lucie Treasure Coast Junior commitment to FSU
5 Nick North 6-1 190 Hollywood MacArthur All-Broward pick has big hit reputation
6 Karlos Williams 6-2 208 Davenport Ridge Community Another FSU pledge; Plays WR also
7 Cortez Davis 6-4 200 Daytona Beach Mainland Pledged to FSU, also hoops star
8 LaQuentin Smith 6-1 208 Orlando Dr. Phillips Could grow into LB
9 Calvin Pryor 6-2 190 Port St. Joe Versatile athlete doubles as receiver prospect
10 Larry Franklin 6-2 190 Vero Beach Credited with 88 tackles, 9 pass break ups
11 Eric Farkas 6-0 185 Sanford Seminole Has special skill set kicking, kick blocking
12 Ken Harper 6-1 200 Gainesville Buchholz All-Area, 91 tackles, 10 pass break ups

The Orlando Sentinel’s top safeties in Florida two years ago.


4 thoughts on “Rhule’s position changes: Genius

  1. If Williams beat out Harper then we have a better offense…, Harper will play somewhere for somebody on Sundays… safety appears to be a consideration. having Harper and Williams rotate on offense may be a better move.., IMHO coaches who spend time coaching in the pros make better long time college coaches.., Saban, the Stanford head coach, etc…, MR knows Harper is a pro and will keep him on the field…, quite surprised Harper will not wear a single digit jersey…., maybe there is something we don’t know?

  2. Not that into having Harper on the offense. While he has the speed to be one of the faster SAFETIES in BCS football, don’t believe he has the top-line speed that you ask of a tailback you want to take a simple handoff to the house. Williams does. If you move Herbin over there, he does, too. Historically, tailback has been one of the “fastest” positions at Temple. Pierce won the state 100-meter title and Matty Brown just lost out to him by a tenth of a second on a 40-yard dash race. For Harper to even be CONSIDERED to be starting tailback, his documented outstanding speed was factored into Rhule’s decision. For example, Pierce was timed at 4.55 at the NFL combine and Brown 4.56. Harper’s 4.61 would make him the fastest DB on Temple not a CB. How’s this, though? Khalif Herbin is the fastest guy on the team (4.33). Travis Sheldon ran a 4.29.

  3. Anyone will be better at safety than Gildea and Carraway, those guys just did not have the instinct or the want to tackle. Which I also believe is a huge reflection of their individual coach (Heater)

  4. Gildea tried. He was an above-average MAC safety, but a below-average Big East safety. I will never forget him huffing and puffing after those 6-5 Maryland receivers, getting there in time for the coverage and trying to jump as high as them on three critical and I mean critical jump balls for first downs. Just no vertical leap. That’s why I wanted Newsome back there in his spot last year. Carraway should have been a WR.

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