Wide receiver Branden Mack was a dominant performer Thursday during Temple’s long training camp practice.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound former Cheltenham star was constantly getting open and catching passes on intermediate and deep routes.
Last season, Mack was a fixture on special teams but only caught two passes for 23 yards. The redshirt sophomore appears ready to make a bigger contribution for a receiving corps that might be the deepest unit on the team.
“Branden Mack had a great offseason,” Temple quarterback Frank Nutile said. “He had a great winter workout, put on good weight and got faster. Spring ball, he played really well and in summer workouts he has attacked the weight program and it really shows. He is making a ton of plays for us and he is going to be a guy who helps us out a lot.”
Offensive line update
Redshirt sophomores Vincent Picozzi and Darian Bryant did not practice.
“Those guys are fine,” said Temple offensive line coach Chris Wiesehan. “This was a precautionary thing we have done with them.”
Picozzi (6-4, 295), a former Lansdale Catholic star, made six starts last season, all at left guard, and he is projected to be a starter again. Bryant (6-5, 320), from Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, did not see action last season but is expected to contribute.
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Wiesehan said a player on the other side of the ball, junior defensive tackle Karamo Dioubate, has been catching his attention in a big way during camp, which began last Friday.
“I think Karamo is noticeably different and he has had a great camp,” Wiesehan said.
Dioubate (6-3, 295) is part of a strong defensive tackle rotation. Whether he starts or not, he should see more playing time than last season when he appeared in 12 games as a reserve.
Besides Dioubate, the other top tackles include redshirt seniors Michael Dogbe (6-3, 280) and Freddie Booth-Lloyd (6-1, 330) and redshirt sophomore Dan Archibong (6-6, 285).
Booth-Lloyd also ran a play Thursday as a goal-line fullback, something that could happen this season.
Chance for freshmen
With Picozzi and Bryant out, two freshmen saw extensive duty with the first and second offensive line units: Isaac Moore (6-7, 305) and Adam Klein.
Moore is from Sweden and enrolled in January, taking part in spring practice.
“Isaac came here mid-year and is really acclimating at a really rapid pace and doing a great job in the room, and he is coming out and getting better every day, learning the scheme,” Wiesehan said.
Klein (Episcopal Academy) is listed as 6-5, 264, but Wiesehan says that after working with the strength staff, he is hovering around 290 pounds.
“We knew he had a high football IQ, a great body bounce,” Wiesehan said. “We thought he would be a guy who could be able to compete early. We will see how camp goes, but he is doing a nice job.”