The team’s quarterback battle has continued this week, as senior Clinton “Juice” Granger and redshirt freshman P.J. Walker compete with junior Connor Reilly for the starting job.
“We’re going to leave it as a competition,” Rhule said after practice Monday. “We’re going to keep this thing going until we make a decision as a staff.”
Rhule said that early in the week, Reilly was dealing with a sprained ankle.
“I think the biggest issue with [Reilly] is that he’s a little bit banged up,” Rhule said. “He’s struggling a little bit to get his feet underneath him to kind of move a little bit. Mentally I think he’s a tough kid. He knows that’s what this game is all about—a competition day in and day out.”
Meanwhile, Granger continues to make headway in his efforts to become this year’s starting quarterback.
“Juice is throwing the football really well,” Rhule said. “We know he can run, but he’s throwing the ball really well. They’re all getting better and better at it, so we’ll see what happens in the next scrimmage. But each day at practice, we’re grading and evaluating them.”
“We know we need to have three, four quarterbacks to have a chance to get through the season anyway,” Rhule added. “So, while it’s a competition to them, for us it’s just getting them ready to play.”
From WR to DE
Sophomore Romond Deloatch, who had two starts last year at wide receiver as a freshman, had quite an interesting week of camp.
After being late for a meeting, Rhule moved Deloatch to a different practice unit to “shake him up.” On Monday, Deloatch was playing alongside the defensive ends—and the Hampton, Va. native actually played well in his new role.
“He might have just been made at me so he said, ‘I’ll show you.’ He went ahead and had like five or six sacks. During camp you’ve always got to move some guys around. At the end of the day, we know we have to play Houston and they run 115 plays of three and four wides.”
“Even if a guy is going to start at receiver, if he can go out there and rush the passer, we’ll use him,” Rhule added. “We’re going to use everybody. If Bill Belichick can do it, we’re certainly going to try and do it.
Originally a tradition that was used by former Temple coach Al Golden, Matt Rhule is bringing back the “one through nine tough guy jerseys.”
Rhule, who was an assistant coach for Golden for five seasons, will be assigning the numbers one through nine to the athletes on the team that he believes most represent toughness.
The first year coach announced today that senior defensive lineman Levi Brown was the first to be awarded, with the number nine.
Last season, Brown mostly played nose tackle and tallied 27 tackles with 3.5 of them being for a loss. Rhule cited Brown losing five percent body fat over the summer, and his overall leadership in camp as reasons for his choice.
Rhule says he plans on handing out the other eight numbers within the next few days, and each athlete will be recognized in front of the entire team.