Written By: Anthony Martini
Photo Courtesy of: @Temple_FB
On a rainy Friday morning, the Owls took the practice field as they continue to prepare for their season opener against Rutgers on September 2. The practice was full of high intensity and energy from both the coaches and players.
The offensive line will be a strength for the Owls this year, as the projected starting offensive line has the 7th most starts in the nation as a group. Michael Niese has 33 starts, C.J. Perez has 27, Adam Klein has 26, Joseph Hooper has 20, and Isaac Moore has 20. The running backs should be excited to run behind this experienced group.
Assistant Athletic Director of Football Communications Rich Burg said, “The offensive line is my favorite group. They are humble, and they work together. [The big dogs] eat lunch with each other every day to help build their chemistry.”
“There is a lot of good leadership in that [offensive line] group,” offensive line coach Joe Tripodi said.
Adam Klein is working at right guard next to right tackle Michael Niese. They have a great relationship on and off the field.
“The chemistry between me and [Niese] is really great, and I can see it is getting better as the year goes on,” Klein said.
Klein has played all five positions on the offensive line while playing at Temple and has been a starter since he was a true freshman.
“I think Adam is a really talented football player. He’s had a really strong camp and has come into his own as a football player. It happens to be at the right guard spot right now. Excited about him,” Tripodi said.
During the individual practice period, the offensive line was working on their steps and hand placement techniques. The big dogs were hitting the sled and working on double team blocks. Executing those double team blocks will be necessary for the Owls, as we should expect åthe team to run option plays with dual-threat quarterback D’Wan Mathis as the projected starter.
Then, the offensive line practiced some of their blocking against the defensive front seven. One lineman that stood out in the drills was Jermaine Donaldson. He was staying on his man in the drills against the defensive line while utilizing great technique.
Some younger offensive linemen that stood out to the players in preseason camp are Bryce Thoman, Richard Rodriguez, and Jimto Obidegwu. “To be a successful football team, you got to have more than five offensive linemen,” Tripodi said.
With the season starting in less than two weeks, this offensive line group should be excited to watch during the season.