Temple football wide receiver sees increased playing time

Jadan Blue leads the Owls in receiving yards this season, but the redshirt-sophomore wide receiver wants more.

Redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Jadan Blue walks onto the field before the start of the Owls’ game against Georgia Tech at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 28. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Jadan Blue feels blessed. 

After playing in just eight games and recording three catches for 39 yards last season, the redshirt-sophomore wide receiver leads Temple football with 402 receiving yards through four games.

“It feels good,” Blue said. “All these blessings come from God, so it always feels good.”

Last season, Blue played behind more experienced wide receivers like Ventell Bryant and Brodrick Yancy. When they graduated, it left an opportunity open for Blue to step up.

This year, Blue is a big part of the receiving corps, along with seniors Isaiah Wright and Randle Jones and redshirt-junior Branden Mack.

Being a younger player in an experienced receiving corps has helped Blue become a better receiver, he said.

“I learned what they do well and things they don’t do well,” Blue said. “That’s how you become a good player. You learn from their goods and their bads. They’ve always been those types of guys that you can learn from, and I’m thankful to have them.”

Blue scored his first collegiate touchdown in Temple’s 56-12 win against Bucknell University on Aug. 31. Blue received an eight-yard shovel pass from redshirt-junior quarterback Anthony Russo.

Blue finished the game with 10 catches and 117 receiving yards.

“I think that was huge for [Blue’s] confidence,” Russo said after practice on Sept. 10. “Last year, he was making those plays in practice, but he didn’t really get his chance in games. So being able for him to realize that not only can [he] make those plays in practice, but [he] can make them out on the field on a Saturday as well just boosts his confidence.”

Blue has compiled at least 65 receiving yards in every game this season. 

Blue’s second touchdown came in the Owls’ 20-17 win against the University of Maryland. Blue received a pass from Russo down the sideline and took it to the endzone for 79 yards. Blue’s reception against the Terrapins remains his longest of the season.

“He’s explosive, he catches the ball well and he runs good routes,” coach Rod Carey said. “Any time we put the ball in his hands, he can go, so we’ve seen a lot of that.”

In former coach Geoff Collins’ offense last season, Blue was used in the running game and had 18 rushing yards. Blue has not been used in the running game yet this season. He is used differently, earning more reps in Carey’s offense, but hopes to get more involved in the running game, Blue said.

“Utilized differently, definitely,” Blue said. “Putting the ball in the air and trusting me to put the ball in my hands. Rushing yards, I believe they coming soon too.”

Blue wants to eclipse 1,500 receiving yards this season, which has never been accomplished by a Temple receiver.

“Of course, [I want to] lead the team and The American,” Blue said. “I got big dreams.”

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