There has been no more inspirational story during Temple's training camp than the comeback of Chapelle Russell.
For the second year in a row, the redshirt junior linebacker is recovering from a torn right ACL. He first tore it in November 2016, and the most recent injury occurred last November.
"We are excited to get him back, man," Temple outside linebackers coach Larry Knight Jr. said after Thursday's practice. "He has always provided leadership whether on or off the field and we are definitely excited about him and what he will be able to contribute this year."
Russell says he won't play in Saturday's team scrimmage at Franklin Field, but hopes to return for the Sept. 1 opener against Villanova at Lincoln Financial Field.
Not surprisingly, Russell said he would love to play Saturday, but the coaches are taking a cautious approach.
Russell says he's seen significant progress each week. This week, he advanced to competing in 7-on-7 and tackling drills.
"This Monday, I am going to start live drills," Russell said. "That is why they give us the day off Saturday, the day off Sunday and have me come back fresh Monday."
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Russell led Temple with 70 tackles through nine games before suffering the injury in a loss to Navy.
Russell understands why the coaches and training staff are being cautious, but there is no doubt in his mind he will return for the opener.
"Personally I feel ready to go and I feel 100 percent," he said. "When I am in tackling drills everything feels normal, I am moving normal and it is just a matter of time, I am waiting for my time."
Impressed with DL depth
Jim Hogan, a graduate transfer defensive end from Rutgers, has been extremely impressed with the Owls depth on the line.
"I haven't seen depth like this before," said Hogan, who received his undergraduate degree in criminal justice and is pursing a master's in entrepreneurship and innovation. "The two-deep is good enough to pretty much start at a lot of places and even the three-deep guys are really talented, too."
The 6-4, 265 pound Hogan says he has played some at tackle in camp, but he will mainly be used at end.
"I will play wherever they want me," said Hogan, who appeared in three games last season for Rutgers and 22 in his career. "I consider myself versatile and will do whatever we need to win a games."
More praise for Dioubate
Early in camp, junior defensive tackle Karomo Dioubate was cited for his play. He has continued to make an impression on the coaching staff.
A highly recruited player from Philadelphia's Prep Charter, Dioubate (6-3, 295) should see a lot of time whether he starts or not.
"The amount of gains he has made since last season has been amazing," Temple defensive line coach Jim Panagos said. "…We are really happy with his performance and he is playing at an elite level."