How far Temple football has come in 4 years under Al Golden can't be understood by just one moment. But a moment that occurred last spring can shine a spotlight on it.

The coaches were not pleased with the direction of the tight end position. The quarterback, who came on board with the coaches in 2006, sensed what they were feeling, saw what they saw. Nobody had to say anything.

So Vaughn Charlton just decided to run a few pass routes as tight end.

"He impressed everybody," Owls coach Al Golden said. "I don't think there was a guy on the team who didn't say, 'Did you just see that?' "

After that day at spring practice, the coaches went back and looked very closely at the tapes. The next day, the coaches talked to Charlton, who, according to Golden, said tight end "felt really comfortable for him and he wanted to make the switch."

"We said, 'Why don't you think about it and let us know,' " Golden remembered telling one of the first players he recruited to Temple. "There's no pressure on you."

They went out to practice an hour later. Charlton showed up with tight-end gloves.

Just that fast, the rising fifth-year senior quarterback, who had thrown for 1,390 yards and 10 touchdowns, and started the bowl game against UCLA last year, was the rising fifth-year senior tight end.

Before the switch, Temple had to keep Charlton's weight down. Now, he has gained 25 pounds, up to 252. And he's ready to catch balls instead of throw them.

"He runs well, is incredibly bright and is tough as can be," Golden said. "We're excited about it. It's elevated our offense, because he's a leader."

Chester Stewart, who split time at quarterback with Charlton last year, is now the unquestioned No. 1. And Charlton is a symbol of what Temple football has become.

Golden said that, even as he recruited the 6-4 Charlton, he thought about him as a tight end. But Temple did not have enough depth to move anybody anywhere in 2006 and 2007. The Owls were just trying to survive. Now, they can make moves.

"Vaughn was good enough for us to win nine games," Golden said. "Vaughn's a big reason why we turned this program around. But I think we're a better team this year because of his selflessness and because of the unselfish decision he made."

Charlton, of Landenberg, Pa., started playing football in second grade and has been a quarterback since middle school.

Will he miss it?

"I'll miss it," he said, "but I love tight end. It's a different type of football."

And it has been a big change.

"It's been kind of a mind-blowing summer," Charlton said. "I tried it out in the spring and it worked."

Charlton played quarterback as a true freshman and true sophomore before taking a redshirt year in 2008. Last year, the quarterback and the team had a breakthrough. He threw for 317 yards against Villanova in the opener. After winning one game as a freshman, he was an integral part of a team that won nine consecutive games last year.

Undoubtedly, a person concerned about only himself would have seen himself playing the position he had known for so long in his final season of college football. He would have resisted any consideration of a change. Instead, Charlton suggested the change.

"I was pretty confident I could do it," he said. "I have a good idea of where the tight end is supposed to be on all the routes. Picking up the running game is the biggest thing I had to work on in the offseason."

Charlton remembers being the first player of the Class of 2006 to sign. That first class went from nothing to a bowl game. A few 5-year players from that class, including Charlton, are back for a run at a Mid-American Conference championship, double-digit wins and another bowl game.

Did he ever imagine any of that?

"I feel like I've been here an eternity," he said. "It's a real honor to sit here and watch the program turn around from where it was before."

What was Golden selling in 2006?

"He was selling a belief, an opportunity," Charlton said. "I committed because of him, what I could hear in his voice when he talked to me, about what his goals were and what he wanted to do here. You can just feel it when you talk to someone who has such passion. I wanted to be on board."

When Charlton was asked to imagine what these next few months might be like, he declared that he wasn't looking beyond tomorrow. And why would he?

One day, a quarterback; the next day, a tight end. One year, one win. A few years later, nine wins. This year, all the possibilities are there, but dreaming it won't make it happen. Only doing it will. *