By Matt Breen
In his one season as an assistant with the New York Giants, Temple head coach Matt Rhule said Eli Manning was a “consummate professional.”
The Giants quarterback never took anything for granted, Rhule said. And it’s something the second-year head coach wants ingrained in Owls quarterback P.J. Walker.
Walker will get his chance to learn from Eli and the rest of the Manning family as he accepted an invitation to attend July’s Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana.
The sophomore will be one of the about 40 college quarterbacks that will serve as counselors to more than 1,000 youth campers.
Counselors at last summer’s camp included Teddy Bridgewater, A.J. McCarron, Tajh Boyd and Johnny Manziel.
“It’s a very big deal,” said Walker. “There’s a few great players that have been there. I’m very surprised. Now it’s just time to prove my ability.”
Walker set freshman records last season in passing yards (2,084) and touchdowns (20).
He started the Owls’ final seven games and enters this season as the clear starter. Walker said he’s working on being a leader and said it will be a process.
“I’m not that much of a vocal guy,” Walker said. “I’m going to have to lead by example and pull guys to the side when I need to talk to them.”
Rhule said Walker looked good in Temple’s first two spring practices, even when he had to battle winds on Monday morning. On Tuesday, Rhule said he noticed Walker’s throwing form coming into shape.
“He’a one of those guys that makes a mistake, he fixes it and moves on to the next thing,” said Rhule.