Win some, lose some.
The Owls lost Darnell Salomon to USF and Dae’Lun Darien to Penn State, but gained Freddie Johnson, Randle Jones and Isaiah Wright.
Time will tell, but I like that trade for a couple of reasons.
Ideally, Temple rarely has the perfect combination of receivers on the field at the same time. It happened only a couple of times in my memory. Willie Marshall was a Robbie Anderson-type wide receiver in the Bruce Arians’ Era, made all the more dangerous by a 4.3 speedster named Keith Gloster lined up in the slot. Marshall was a 6-foot-3 guy with a 37-inch vertical leap, whose specialty was catching passes in the red zone and over the middle. Gloster opened the middle for Marshall by stretching the field and going deep. A similar situation also existed in the Wayne Hardin years with Rich Drayton and Gerald “Sweet Feet” Lucear and maybe to a lesser extent far later with Bruce Francis and Travis Sheldon under Al Golden.
In the past couple of seasons, though, Temple’s been top-heavy in the same type of receivers—tall guys who are effective in the red zone but rarely stretch the field.
By all accounts, Dae’Lun is the same type of player Romond Deloatch, Anderson, Ventell Bryant and Keith Kirkwood are today–guys who are fairly reliable, have good hands, make plays over the middle but won’t necessarily stretch the field.
In Isaiah Wright, though, the Owls have a “best of both worlds” player, a guy who can make the big catch over the middle and take it to the house and, if Johnson or Jones turns out to be on the other of the field, his presence even makes Wright more dangerous. Other recruits could fill that role, or maybe someone on the current squad, like 4.3 sprinter Cortrelle Simpson.
Temple fans will probably be following the progress of Darien from afar and Salomon from a relatively closer spot, USF. The numbers say Salomon will have the best career, but he’s had discipline and character issues that make his future far from a slam dunk. So Wright, Jones and Johnson could be just what they needed all along.
Willie Marshall and Keith Gloster should be especially proud.
Tomorrow: Karamo Dioubate