Cherry and White is a month and two days away.
While today is the first day of spring, and hopefully the end of all of this brutally cold last two weeks, it also marks the first day of spring football practice at Temple University.
On each one of these days every year, I print out the official team roster on Owlsports.com and look for names that I either don’t recognize or intrigue me.
Consider me intrigued by one Julian Conover, No. 27 in your game program.
The first thing that sticks out about him is that Conover is a linebacker and the Owls will need linebackers to replace the three departed starters of a year ago.
The next—and perhaps most important –thing is that the redshirt freshman was a first-team New Jersey All-State linebacker at Don Bosco. That’s significant in and of itself in that there aren’t too many first-team all-state players who walk on in college football.
Usually, first-team all-state players get scholarships and, while there was significant interest in Conover as a Bosco senior, there were no scholarship offers from FBS teams. Part of that reason might have been that he is a little on the light side (205 pounds on a 6-3 frame), but Tyler Matakevich was 6-1, 205 coming out of prep school so the obstacle is not insurmountable.
What Conover and Matakevich had in common was good film of what they did on the field and that’s all that matters.
Given the Owls need linebackers (Jared Folks and fullback Nick Sharga really are the only players on the team with significant playing time at the position), monitoring Conover’s progress as the spring goes on should be one of the bullet points of this one-month season.
Wednesday: Old Is New