The 2014 college football season is just around the corner, so that means it’s that time of the year for depth chart predictions. Coach Matt Rhule and the Temple Owls look to make this years season a more successful one than the last. With the fast tempo, spread offense the Owls have this season could be one that is a huge turnaround from last season.
But there is always that hint of uncertainty that lingers in the heads of Owls fans. Is this team to young? Will the defense be better this year? Time will only tell for this team but one thing is for certain that this team is on the up and up. The Owls locker room has recently been renovated and looks immaculate, with top of the line accessories. Also it was announced that for the next three years Temple football games will be broadcasted on radio in the greater Philadelphia area on “The Fanatic” 97.5FM.
Now its time to dive into what could be the possible depth chart when the Owls kick off the season August 28th against Vanderbilt. What better position to start with than quarterback?
1.) P.J. Walker (SO)
Its no surprise that Walker is ranked number one on the QB depth chart. After getting his chance at the quarterback during the 2103 season, he never looked back. In the last eight games of the season, all of which he started, Walker threw 20 touchdowns, completed 152 passes and also scored three touchdowns with his feet. He is going to have to work on cutting down rushed throws which turn into interceptions. Walker threw an interception in every game he started except one. P.J. Walker is the future of Temple football and his time is now to take the program to where he wants.
2.) Connor Reilly (R-SR)
Red shirt senior Connor Reilly never really lived up to his potential at the quarterback position for Temple. The 2013 starting quarterback would end up losing his job to then freshman P.J. Walker just six games into the season. Reilly is a team player and is constantly helping Walker on the side lines as well as in the film room preparing for the next opponent. Having a player like Reilly under such a young starting quarterback can only benefit the Owls.
3.) Thomas Rumer (R-SO)
Rumer was a redshirt his freshman year in 2012, he did not play in 2013. During the 2104 season Rumer would be the last life line for the quarterback position barring something going drastically wrong. If Walker stays healthy all season there is a possibility that Rumer could be used in different packages to get him some playing time.
1.) Kenny Harper (SR)
Harper started every game for the Owls last season and hopes to duplicate that statistic his senior year for Temple. Harper finished the year with 11 touchdowns, nine of them rushing and was an overall standout in the American Athletic Conference. He is also a three-year letter winner and hopes to make 2014 another year for that.
2.) Zaire Williams (SO)
A true freshman in 2013, one of just 13 true freshman on the roster. Williams ran for 553 yards in his first season, which placed him in the Temple record books for all time freshman rushing yards. It is no knock to Williams’s skill that he is second on the depth chart, it is just that Kenny Harper has proven that he is the man to get the most touches during his final season in an Owls uniform.
3.) Jamie Gilmore (JR)
Junior Jamie Gilmore played every game on offense and special teams last year but saw a limited role as running back due to the duo of Harper and Williams. Gilmore will still play a role on this team for his next two years at Temple. When Harper graduates it is most likely that Gilmore will move up a spot on the depth chart and share touched with Zaire Williams.
1.) Marc Tyson (R-JR)
The full back position is not one utilized in Temple’s offense. In fact Tyson is the only full back on the roster thus making him the only eligible player to fill this spot on the depth chart. Tyson is 6”-0′ and weighs 230lbs making him a big presence at this position to fight to get those extra yards. Being a former collegiate wrestler at Appalachian State proves he is an all around athlete and is not afraid of anyone.
1.) Jalen Fitzpatrick (SR)
Fitzpatrick started all 12 games for the Owls in 2013. He tallied up 38 receptions as well as 3 touchdowns. His best game came against Army where he received 128 yards catching, as well as a touchdown to help the Owls on to victory. Most of Fitzpatrick quite success was overshadowed by Robbie Anderson, who is now no linger with the team, making Fitz the top man at the wide receiver spot.
2.) John Christopher (R-JR)
Redshirt John Christopher played in every game during the 2013 season. Though his season was hindered with reoccurring foot problems, Christopher was still able to make last season his best with the Owls. Coming into 2014 healthy will be a big boost for the redshirt junior as he looks to bolster his stats and have a breakout year for Temple.
3.) Samuel Benjamin (R-SO)
Samuel Benjamin is my pick as the wildcard to really show up during the 2014 season. He was forced to take an early exit from the 2013 season as he injured his shoulder during the opening game against Notre Dame. Benjamin was granted a medical redshirt giving him an extra year of eligibility after his academics are done at Temple University. The sophomore has a lot to prove to show that he deserves this spot on the roster, but after fighting back from a shoulder injury and hard practice during the offseason it is possible that he is up to the challenge.
1.)Wanemi Omuso (R-SR)
Omusu played in the first six games of the season until he injured his his knee against Cincinnati, which would force him to miss the remainder of the season. Omuso did not have any receptions in the six games he played at TE, but his big presence at 6”-2′ 255lbs, made him a big player during the run blocking opening up holes for Harper and Williams.
Kyle Friend C (JR)
Jacob Quinn RG (R-JR)
Eric Lofton RT (SO)
Brendan McGowan LG (R-FR)
Dion Dawkins LT (SO)
The centerpiece of the offensive line is without a doubt Kyle Friend. Friend played every game making him the only lineman to say that as well as the offensive player to play every snap. That is quite the accomplishment. Coach Matt Rhule always speaks very highly of Friend, labeling him as one of the toughest players on the team. If Kyle can stay healthy for the 2014 season he will have a huge impact on the offense and keeping opposing players off of quarterback P.J. Walker.