NEWPORT, R.I. - There has been a name change, but little else is different for Phillip Walker, Temple's senior quarterback who spent his first three seasons known as P.J.

As he was in his first three seasons, Walker will be the starter, and he already has thrown a school-record 52 touchdown passes.

Walker has always exuded a quiet confidence, and even though this year's Owls have been described as his team, he said that nothing was different this offseason.

"I have been doing things the same I always have and I am the same guy," Walker said Tuesday during the American Athletic Conference's football media day.

Actually he's not exactly the same guy. Walker is listed at 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds, but he says he's up to 210 pounds and appears to have spent some serious time in the weight room.

"I feel I put the weight on in the right places," said Walker, a product of Elizabeth (N.J.) High.

As for the name change, Walker, who likes to be called Phil while being referred to in print as Phillip, said he simply outgrew his initials.

"It is just the growth, the older I get the less I want to be called P.J.," Walker said. I feel the more mature I become and the more of a man I become, I don't want to be a grown man being called P.J. I would prefer them calling me by my original name."

Walker is among the most respected players on the team. He has a quiet manner about him but says he can get on teammates if needed.

More than anything, he has shown tremendous toughness. In last year's 27-10 opening win over Penn State, he hurt his non-throwing left shoulder.

The pain at times was excruciating.

"It hurt every day," Walker said.

Yet Walker kept playing, and at a high rate. He was the only offensive player to start all 14 games for the 10-4 Owls. Walker completed 56.8 percent of his passes for 2,973 yards with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

More important, Temple tied a single-season school record for wins and that is the statistic Walker cares about most.

The Owls were hesitant to allow him to run the ball much, for fear of injury.

"He is a tremendous competitor and a tremendous leader and as a program we have made a decision to turn him loose as a senior," Temple coach Matt Rhule said.

Whether that means he will be running more remains to be seen, but no doubt Temple will rely on Walker to make more big plays

Walker says one thing may change this year: He may stop more often to smell the proverbial roses. While he says his goal is to play football at the next level, his height, at least if he continues playing quarterback, will work against him.

So while he hopes this isn't his final season playing football, he is also realistic enough to understand that it just might be.

"I am blessed with this opportunity and so I haven't been complaining about anything because this could be my last season," Walker said. "I want to enjoy every day, every moment and every opportunity I get."

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