Friday, December 26, 2014

Smith benefits from switch to defense

Ahkeem Smith is probably the happiest guy on Temple’s roster. A position switch will do that.

Smith benefits from switch to defense

Ahkeem Smith is probably the happiest guy on Temple’s roster. A position switch will do that.

 At the start of training camp, the 6-foot, 215-pound junior was listed as a contender for the backup tailback position. But, in reality, Smith wasn’t going to see much playing time.

 That’s because Bernard Pierce and Matt Brown will get most of the carries.

But Smith doesn’t have to worry about that.

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 The Bethlehem, Pa. native moved to will linebacker, where he will start at in Thursday’s season-opening Mayor’s Cup game against Villanova.

 “He’s worked really hard,” Temple coach Steve Addazio said of Smith. “He’s earned [the starting position] by how he’s played in the practices and the scrimmages. I’m proud of him, happy for him.

 “He embraced it. He took it. And he ran with it.”

 -  Keith Pompey

 Here’s a look at Temple’s starting lineup for Thursday’s season-opener.

 OFFENSE

X- WIDEOUT 86 Deon Miller (6-5, 210, So.)

LEFT  TACKLE 79 Pat Boyle (6-5, 320, Sr.)

LEFT  GUARD 63 Derek Dennis (6-5, 328, Sr.)

CENTER 77 John Palumbo (6-5, 312, Sr.)

RIGHT  GUARD 69 Wayne Tribue (6-4, 324, Sr.)

RIGHT TACKLE  73 Martin Wallace (6-6, 310, Jr.)

TIGHT END 89 Matt Balasavage (6-4, 256, Sr.)

QUARTERBACK 8 Mike Gerardi (6-2, 206, Jr.) OR 10 Chris Coyer (6-3, 214, So.)

TAILBACK 30 Bernard Pierce (6-0, 218, Jr.)

FULLBACK / TIGHT END 88 Evan Rodriguez (6-3, 250, Sr.)

Z-WIDEOUT 18 Rod Streater (6-4, 196, Sr.)

 DEFENSE

 DEFENSIVE END 43 Adrian Robinson (6-2, 250, Sr.)

DEFENSIVE  TACKLE 92 Shahid Paulhill (6-3, 300, So.)

NOSE  TACKLE 94 Kadeem Custis (6-4, 295, Jr.)

DEFENSIVE END 85 Morkeith Brown (6-6, 260, Sr.)

WILL LINEBACKER 24 Ahkeem Smith (6-0, 215, Jr.)

MIKE LINEBACKER 53 Stephen Johnson (6-1, 230, Sr.)

SAM  LINEBACKER 2 Tahir Whitehead (6-2, 228, Sr.)

BOUNDARY CORNER 6 Maurice Jones (5-10, 195, Jr.)

FREE SAFETY 37 Kevin Kroboth (6-0, 198, Sr.)

STRONG SAFETY 4 Justin Gildea (5-11, 190, Jr.)

FIELD CORNER 27 Zamel Johnson (6-0, 180, So.)

About this blog
Keith Pompey has been an Inquirer reporter since September 2004. He took over the Sixers beat in the summer of 2013 after covering the Temple basketball and football for the previous three years. Pompey also previously covered the Penn and Drexel men’s basketball team and Villanova football team after initially focusing on high school sports.

Pompey is a native Philadelphian and a University of Pittsburgh graduate. Follow him on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers or reach Keith at kpompey@phillynews.com. Reach Keith at kpompey@phillynews.com.

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