Camp notes: Collins hopes to see ‘separation’ at quarterback by next Saturday

The Owls’ coach said all four quarterbacks competing for the starting spot have taken over scrimmages.

Coach Geoff Collins speaks to reporters after Sunday's practice at Chodoff Field. SYDNEY SCHAEFER | THE TEMPLE NEWS

Todd Centeio displayed the footwork in Sunday’s practice at Chodoff Field that had defensive players raving last week.

After two incompletions, the freshman quarterback evaded one rusher and took the ball up the gut of the defense for a score.

In his next series, he rolled out to the right on a play action and found freshman tight end Jadan Blue for a score in the endzone.

“He’s just different,” junior safety Delvon Randall said. “I’ve never seen a quarterback talk to a defense when they make a play. He talks just how we talk. We talk a lot of stuff. He does that. But that motivates me. I like that. I want my quarterback to trash talk. I’m trying to get Logan Marchi and Frank Nutile to do the same thing because it makes the play better. “

Offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude said at the start of preseason camp, they would like to ideally name a starter two weeks prior to the season opener against the University of Notre Dame.

Coach Geoff Collins said Centeio had a nice outing at Sunday’s practice, but added it was the first day he distinguished himself. He also said that each of the quarterbacks have had their own days where they took over during scrimmages.

Collins thinks he and the coaching staff will get a better idea of who the starting quarterback will be after the team has a scrimmage on Aug. 19 at Franklin Field on Penn’s campus.

“I think next Saturday, we’re hoping there’s a little bit more separation in that position,” Collins said.

Collins sees depth at cornerback position

Temple lost two starting cornerbacks, Tavon Young and Nate Hairston, to the NFL Draft in the past two years.

But Collins, who coached several eventual NFL defensive backs at the University of Florida, said Temple is still talented on the outside.

“I think we have six legitimate corners,” Collins said.

Redshirt senior Artrel Foster, who started 12 games last season, will return for Temple. Redshirt junior Derrek Thomas, who’s earned one career start, returns as well.

During Sunday’s practice, redshirt senior Mike Jones and Foster lined up at cornerback with the first-team defense.

Jones transferred to Temple in Spring 2017 after graduating from North Carolina Central University. He recorded 30 tackles, defended five passes, had three pass break-ups and two interceptions last season.

Other candidates for the starting position could be redshirt sophomore Kareem Ali or sophomore Linwood Crump.

“Linwood Crump I think is going to be a star in this defense,” Collins said.

Coach Geoff Collins speaks to reporters after Sunday’s practice at Chodoff Field. SYDNEY SCHAEFER | THE TEMPLE NEWS

Matt Hennessy impressing coaches, linemen

Redshirt-senior defensive lineman Sharif Finch has to battle against the offensive linemen every day in practice.

He said while redshirt senior Cole Boozer and redshirt junior Jaelin Robinson have looked good at offensive tackle, redshirt freshman Matt Hennessy’s mental game stands out, especially for a young player.

“He’s making his calls, he’s really tuned into to what’s going on around him more so than a normal freshman,” Finch said. “You usually see confusion out of freshmen like some incongruencies. But him, he’s really honed into what he has to do, which is really impressive.”

Hennessy appeared in three games last season and made his first start against the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He’s also been named to the Rimington Trophy 2017 Fall Watch List, which honors the most outstanding center in Division I.

Collins said Brendan McGowan, last year’s starting center, recently stopped by Edberg-Olson Hall. McGowan told him that he would lose sleep during last year’s preseason camp because he was worried about Hennessy stealing his starting job.

“[Hennessy’s] an athletic guy, tough guy, smart guy, pretty physical, strong kid, so I think he’ll do pretty good this season,” Finch said.

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