One of the situations that won't be settled this spring for Temple is in the kicking game. Regardless of what happens, it will be an area of strength.

Kicker Austin Jones suffered a season-ending torn left anterior cruciate ligament in the sixth game last year, a 34-27 loss at Memphis on Oct. 6. Jones was blocked in the back on a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by the Tigers.

Jones had been a starter since his freshman year. He was replaced by former walk-on Aaron Boumerhi, who ended up hitting 15 of 17 field goals and earned second-team American Athletic Conference honors and a scholarship.

Once Jones was injured, he became a mentor for Boumerhi. For now, Jones, a senior, is doing his rehab and hoping to return by the fall.

"I am supposed to, but I am not 100 percent," Jones said Tuesday after the 13th of 14 practices leading to Saturday's Cherry and White spring game. "I personally feel I will be back, but I can't say for sure."

Temple tight ends and special-teams coach Ed Foley said that Jones recently went 11 for 11 on one-step extra-point kicks. Foley said it's a good first step in a long process back.

"To kick a one-step extra point and kick a 45-yard field goal to win a game and really plant and lock on that thing are two different things," Foley said. "We will let that thing take care of itself and see where it is."

Even one-step kicking is progress on the long road back for Jones.

"It feels good to get back in the kicking flow," said Jones, who connected on 10 of 12 field goals last season.

Boumerhi said Jones helped him make the transition to being the starting kicker.

"From day one, he showed me the ropes, and when it was my time to go in, even though it was unfortunate for him, he was still there helping me every day at practice and getting me ready," Boumerhi said.

Now a sophomore, Boumerhi has been doing double duty this spring. Starting punter Alex Starzyk has been suspended indefinitely, so Boumerhi is the punter at this point.

There has been no update on whether Starzyk, who has been the starting punter the previous three years, will be back.

Boumerhi, who was a punter in high school, was the backup last season but never had to punt in a game.

"It makes you a little more fatigued," Boumerhi said of the added duties. "During the season, I did punting and it wasn't with the [first string], but you still paid the same attention and did the same amount of kicking."


Thursday is the final spring practice. . . . The noon game will be played at Temple's practice facility, Edberg-Olson Hall. . . . Foley cited the play of tight end Chris Myarick, a redshirt junior from Cheltenham. "He is the guy nobody talks about who is probably playing the best," Foley said. . . . The kick and punt returners won't be decided until training camp, according to Foley, although he said that graduate transfer Mike Jones from North Carolina Central has shown dynamic ability.