This is a sample of what could come at Notre Dame’s Tommy Rees this Saturday.
Come December, maybe January, Kamal Johnson could become the answer to probably the best Temple football trivia question ever:
Who was the ONLY Temple player to play in three bowl games?
Answer: Kamal Johnson.
Johnson, who wore No. 93 as a starter in the 2009 Eagle Bank Bowl, the same number he wore as a starter in the 2011 New Mexico Bowl, has regained his starting position on the depth chart for this season at defensive tackle.
That comes as EXPECTED news, which pretty much describes most of the depth chart, released on Monday.
You really have to tip your hat, hopefully TEMPLE football helmet, to Marc Tyson and Shahbaz Ahmed, though.
Every year, there are one or two kids who come out of nowhere to make an impact for the Temple University football team.
I know there are a few awards for given out for most spirited and most improved in the spring, but I’m not aware of any for the summer players who made the most impact.
There should be.
This year, though, two stand out from looking at the depth chart released on Monday: Tyson on offense and Ahmed on defense.
Those two guys must have put in the work because they got the award of being named to the first team.
Tyson is a junior transfer from Appalachian State and will be the starting fullback. Ahmed will be one of the starting defensive ends.
Tyson is one of the few members of “Local 215” to earn a starting spot. Local 215 was Al Golden’s term for walk-on and current head coach Matt Rhule is adopting most of the Golden Protocols. Tyson won’t be the most famous walk-on to make the team. Someone named Matt Brown earned a starting spot as a walk-on and later earned a scholarship. When the coaching staff finally figured he wasn’t a slot receiver, Brown went on to become Temple’s third-leading all-time rusher.
Ahmed, a redshirt freshman, is not a walk-on and actually has a pretty impressive recruiting film (above). If he can make plays like the ones in that film, the Owls should be in good shape.
Not many other surprises, though. The Owls have three starting wide receivers, including two “possession-type” receivers in John Christopher and Ryan Alderman. Jalen Fitzpatrick is not only the starting slot receiver, but he is listed as first-team punt and kickoff returner.
Got to love the size of the Owls’ offensive line, as it goes 6-5, 285 (Cody Booth), 6-2, 305 (Jeff Whittingham), 6-2, 305 (Kyle Friend), 6-4, 330 (Pete White) and 6-2, 300 (Zach Hooks).
I think the Owls’ defensive line could be the strength of this team. Johnson (6-4, 310), who didn’t play last year due to a discipline issue, has come in with a new attitude and earned the starting job at one defensive tackle position. Sean Daniels, who in my mind is every bit as talented as Philadelphia Eagle (and former Owl) Adrian Robinson, earned a single digit number as a “tough guy.” All that separated Daniels from Robinson was Robinson’s motor, so maybe Daniels figured out a way to get that in the offseason. If so, expect Daniels to be putting down a few quarterbacks this season on a regular basis. Averee Robinson, Adrian’s brother, is Johnson’s backup at DT. Levi Brown (6-2, 300), a former All-Big East preseason pick, is the starting nose guard.
The right corner is all Norristown, as Anthony Robey is backed up by former Norristown Eagle teammate Brandon Shippen. The left corner will be Tavon Young, who picked up an interception in the Rutgers’ game.
The linebackers are well-established and deep and it looks like freshman Jared Alwan might have a chance to break into the starting lineup over Nate D. Smith, who had a fine redshirt freshman year last season.
All in all, this is a much deeper and more talented team than last year’s was and hopefully that will be reflected in the record.
If Kamal Johnson becomes the answer to a trivia question, it will be.
Tomorrow: The New Radio Team
Thursday: The Helmet Surprise