College football programs can never have enough quality tailbacks.
Perhaps that explains why Temple has a late addition to its recruiting Class of 2011.
Former Alfred State junior college (N.Y.) standout Xavier Makell recently gave an oral commitment to play for the Owls. The 5-foot-8, 191-pounder hopes to sign a national letter of intent during Monday's official visit to Temple's campus. He expects to redshirt this upcoming season then have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
"Words can't explain how I feel," Makell said, "because playing Division I football has always been a goal."
He rushed for 676 yards last season despite missing four games with a left knee injury. Makell,who chose the Owls over a scholarship offer from Akron, finished his two-year junior college career with 1,245 rushing yards.
The Baltimore native went to junior college after missing most of his senior year at Forest Park High (Md.) with an anterior cruciate ligament tear.
Makell said both knees are healthy. He reportedly covered the 40-yard dash Wednesday in 4.4 seconds. While redshirting, Makell plans to get stronger and learn the offense.
Bernard Pierce, a junior standout, is expected to start at tailback for the third season at Temple. Junior Ahkeem Smith and redshirt freshman Myron Myles will battle for the backup position, according to Temple’s pre-camp depth chart. Time will tell if that will change.
Junior Matt Brown, who's listed on the 2011 roster, was suspended during spring drills for getting into a verbal altercation with a coach and teammate. Pierce and Brown provided a nice 1-2 combo the past two seasons.
"I know I'm not supposed to say this, but I am huge Bernard Pierce and Matt Brown fan," Makell said. "I have been following them for a while."
The Owls start camp on Aug. 6.
-- Keith Pompey