Duke’s Brandon Feamster is eager to face Temple in the Independence Bowl on Thursday for a number of reasons.
The graduate of Downington East said he considered attending Temple.
“Growing up, I thought of going there, but things didn’t work out,” the redshirt junior cornerback said earlier this month in a phone interview. “It is cool to play them because it is the team from where I am from and I have friends on the team, and I will be good to go.”
If that isn’t enough to motivate Feaster, his family has Temple ties.
His father, Malik, was a walk-on at Temple who didn’t see any action. But Feaster’s uncle Shanga Tabb played two years for the Owls, in 2000 and 2001.
“It’s pretty cool to play the school of my father and uncle,” Feamster said.
Leading up to the game, Feaster has heard some good-natured ribbing, especially from his uncle.
“This is hard because now I have to choose a side,” said Tabb, laughing
Tabb, who was a backup receiver and special-teams player, said his Temple friends have been giving him the business about his nephew’s playing for the opposition.
“They give me some flak, but they know how close I am to my nephew,” he said. “I haven’t been to a [Temple] game for the last four years, traveling to see him play almost every week.”
His father has also been a dedicated fan.
“We go to every single game. Even when he redshirted, we went,” Malik Feamster said.
Brandon Feamster has had to be patient in earning his chance to play at Duke. After Downingtown East, he attended prep school at Cheshire Academy in Connecticut. He redshirted his first year at Duke, in 2015, then was a reserve the next two seasons.
Feamster was also a reserve to begin this year before making his first career start in a 28-14 loss to Virginia. He has started every game since, a total of six out of 36 career contests.
This season the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Feamster has made 32 tackles and three pass break-ups.
During a 35-6 loss to still-unbeaten and playoff-bound Clemson, in which the Blue Devils trailed, 14-6, at halftime, Feamster made a career-high nine tackles.
“It has been a roller-coaster ride,” Feamster said. “I stayed with the process and kept working and now I have found myself starting after six games.”
Feamster, who began his career as a safety, admitted to being nervous when told he would be starting.
“There were first-game jitters earlier this year, especially my first start, but now I am more confident and understand the ins and outs,” he said.
When he plays against Temple, Feaster is gratified to know he will have his own rooting section, as he has for his entire college career. His family appreciates his perseverance.
“He was able to show his versatility. He stayed slim and was able to move to corner after being recruited as a safety,” his father said. “It hasn’t been easy, and we are really proud of him.”