Competition ‘wide open’ at Temple after three days of football training camp

Stan Drayton doesn’t plan to put together a depth chart anytime soon.

The first-year Temple football coach has seen improvement and enthusiasm from his players, but he wants to keep the competition for the opposing positions of the Owls, who opened the season against Duke on September 2.

It’s been a good three days,” Drayton said. “The thing I love about this group is, they’ve taken the field ready to go, they’re really excited to play. They’ve had a good vacation. The guys are getting bigger, stronger and things like that. We’ve got some new pieces that we’re just trying to get into our system.”

»Read more: Stan Drayton impressed by Temple’s growth and unfazed by pre-season ratings

Friday’s practice was the first time players wore pads and took to the court in 91-degree weather. Between the returning albums, the beginner class, and the new additions from the transfer portal, every player will have a clean slate for a shot at their starting point.

“We get better just by adopting a competition mentality every single day,” Drayton said. Credit to our players [that] They don’t think about the depth chart either. They take advantage of every opportunity they get. We told them it’s wide open and you have to go to it. Once you get it, you have to go and keep it. … This is just the mentality of a strong temple football player, you compete every day.”

Here’s a look at the state of Temple’s attack, defense and special teams after three days of training camp.

Over the summer, Drayton picked up 11 players from the transfer gate, six of them in attack.

Among those recent additions is the return of former Illinois-state Jacary Norwood, who had 27 cars for 120 yards last season. He’s still waiting to clear his sheets, but he could join the owls any day, according to Drayton.

“He’s got a knack,” said Drayton. “He can pick up the ball from the field. He’s hard to connect, but he has the fifth gear. … He’s a guy who can run home, so something we felt we needed in that group and I hope he can make that happen.”

The backroom running features returnees Edward Sidey, who accounted for the bulk of cargo last season, Darvon Hubbard, and Trey Blair. Drayton mentioned that the rear half has improved since the spring, when they learned new blocking schemes.

Quincy Patterson, the transfer quarterback from North Dakota whom Drayton calls a natural leader, was making a name for himself early in the camp. Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf sees Patterson as a player who can run well and has a good size at 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds.

“You see a real team player,” Langsdorff said. “He did whatever he needed to do to help the team win. … He has a really good character, very open and helpful to the guys. He is a team player all the way.”

Langsdorf added that last season’s player, Duane Mattis, had improved the accuracy of throwing the ball. The quarterback competition will continue.

Drayton also mentioned that crossovers Ian Stewart (NW) and Adonicas Sanders (Georgia Tech) added depth to the wide receiver.

Defensive coordinator DJ Eliot plans to use a 3-4 lineup with a variety of fronts. Although the returnees have had to learn a new system since Temple fought a 4-3 defense under Rod Curry last season, Elliott has seen his midfielders flourish in his attacking scheme.

“They loved that there were so many opportunities for people to get into the quarterback,” Elliott said. “It’s all about effort and execution and we have to make them play hard every moment and execution.”

Returning midfielders include Jordan Magee, Evandi Rigby and Kobe Wilson.

Special Teams coordinator Adam Scheer said the owls might add another player during camp. Currently, the group includes playmaker Rory Bell, gambler Mackenzie Morgan, and kicker/gambler Noah Botsford.

Morgan is moving from Weber University to Australia. “I love what he brings to the table,” Shire said. “There’s nothing really bothering him.”

When kicking and dragging returns, recipients Amad Anderson, Jose Barbon, Malik Cooper and Cornerback Jalen McMurray took most of the reps there.

“The goal is for the guy to be the most explosive to be the one you trust the most,” Schaere said. “Emad is working to gain that position and for sure he is a dynamic athlete. He can be a threat in the second leg, whether in kicks or kicks, but he has to catch the kicks a little bit better.”

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