What many saw as a hole in the 2014 recruiting class was finally filled today.
Orlando (Fla.) kicker Austin Jones committed to Temple after making a visit to Temple over the weekend.
Jones is the No. 13-ranked kicker in the country. All over the United States last year, you saw true freshmen making big kicks in big games for Power 5 Conferences.
All Jones has to do in my mind is kick the damn ball through the end zone, something Temple had for four years with Brandon McManus (now with the New York Giants).
Nick Visco, who went 7 for 7 on extra points at SMU and nailed three of the five field goals he attempted in 2013, gives the Owls depth in the placekicking area. Neither Visco (who did not get the chance, by the way) nor Cooper boomed the ball through the end zone on kickoffs like McManus did as a manor of course. We haven’t heard the last of Nick Visco yet. He can be an accurate and reliable placekicker. Jones looks like he’s going to win the starting job and should be an accurate kicker, too, but his more important job is to boom the damn thing through the end zone since the Owls presumably will be scoring touchdowns, not field goals, this season.
McManus and Jones had similar success in high school with touchbacks. At North Penn, McManus had 58 touchbacks on 70 kickoffs in his senior season and Jones’ stats were almost identical to McManus in that critical area. Those stats pretty much held up during Brandon’s career at Temple, as he became the school’s all-time leading scorer.
During the last three of four games of the season, the Owls struggled to kick the ball off as far as the 10, giving opponents unacceptable starting field position.
Acceptable to them, unacceptable to Temple.
Hitler now can cross off kicker as one of his concerns about Matt Rhule: