If at first you do not succeed, try, try again.
So it is with Temple’s most famous redhead this season, Brendan McGowan, taking the mantle from last year’s decorated redhead, Tyler Matakevich.
Call him The Big Red One, which is the nickname of the United States’ Army’s First Division. Clearing the way for all of the weapons on the Temple offense will be McGowan’s job, who is the first member of the offense to touch the ball at the center position.
The try, try, again reference is because Kyle Friend was on the Rimington Watch List but fell short of receiving the award that goes to the best center in the nation. Maybe McGowan will have better luck this season. McGowan is a somewhat surprising candidate, but not to Temple fans, who saw the Owls not drop off much, if at all, in the four games he started last year for the injured Friend. Surprising because the coaches on the Rimington committee figured that out, too as the current grad student at Temple, has been named to the Rimington Trophy Committee’s 2016 Spring Watch List, which includes the 50 best centers in the FBS.
McGowan is one of those guys who is a returning starter at not one but two positions and is a reason Owl fans can put the center position on auto pilot and be confident they are in good shape there. In addition to the four games he started at center for the injured Friend last season, he has started an additional 11 games as at right guard.
He’s bigger than Friend (6-3, 298 vs. 6-1, 280), who is now with the New York Jets.
In other news over the weekend, two more Owls received single digits and those are quarterback Phillip Walker (going from 11 to 8) and defensive end Haason Reddick, who is going from No. 58 to No. 7. Walker’s toughness is well-documented, playing most of last season with a separated shoulder after getting a cheap shot in the end zone in the opening game against Penn State. Reddick, a former outside linebacker, might be the fastest defensive end ever to play for Temple and proved his toughness in the weight room in the offseason, consistently posting best numbers in the tough guy competition.
Wednesday: Why Sam Shaffer Should Worry