Sophomore linebacker Nate D. Smith has made a strong push in the final days leading up to Temple’s season opener at Notre Dame to return to the starting lineup.
On Tuesday, at his weekly press conference, coach Matt Rhule surprised some when he said that freshman Jarred Alwan had won the starting Mike linebacker job over Smith. Last season Smith started 10 of 11 games at middle linebacker. He finished with 75 tackles, second on the team to fellow linebacker Tyler Matakevich, who last season set the true freshman record (101).
However, following a rainy Wednesday morning practice that featured the Notre Dame Fight Song looped over and over again at an ear-deafening decibel level, Rhule said that the Smith was still in the running to start Saturday’s nationally televised game against 14th ranked Notre Dame.
“It’s still not 100 percent,” Rhule said. “We were going to compete through today and Nate had a pretty good day yesterday. It’s just one of those tight battles with Jarred running with the ones and Nate running with the twos.