Temple Continues To Take Steps Forward

When he arrived at the University of Cincinnati linebacker Nick Temple heard the whispers about his height and if he could compete on the field. After playing as a true freshman, Temple continued his steady progress this fall in helping the Bearcats to the Belk Bowl.

So far this season Nick Temple has posted 48 total tackles and continues silencing those who doubted his ability to play football at a high level in college. However, those doubts helped fuel the 5-foot-10 linebacker.

"I'll always keep a chip on my shoulder because of the height thing," said Temple. "I play like a linebacker over 6-foot tall even though I'm only 5-foot-10."

As he continues to develop his game he knows he's only a step away from taking his game to another level for the Bearcats.

"My role is to be that guy that steps up when no one else is stepping up," explained Temple. "I know (Maalik) Bomar is leaving so I've got to control the linebackers and I feel I'm getting better at it.

"I've learned how to get off linemen and I'm taking more of a leadership role. Since I'm a shorter guy I've got to go out and work hard at everything I do."

One thing Temple credits with his early success came from his days in high school in Indianapolis.

"Warren Central prepared me to come in here and contribute early," said Temple. "I felt as if I was playing at the same speed and that the coaches at Warren Central were just like the coaches here before coach (Butch) Jones left.

"I felt I was ready when I got here and just needed a little polish. But I'm still working and the coaches thought I was ready so they put me in and I started against North Carolina State and felt I did good." As for handling the changes in the coaching staff Temple understand the reasons why.

"It is what it is," said Temple. "He has a family to take care of and I understand that. I didn't want the guy to leave but he had to do what he had to do. I'm taking it that coaching is a business so that doesn't stop my play as I've got to keep working and keep going forward."

Last season gave Temple a taste of postseason play and helped pushed him throughout the year.

"Last year was my first bowl game and after that game I couldn't wait to go back to another bowl game," said Temple. "Bowl games are just fun to go to and are rewards for the players after a hard season. I feel we deserve this one."

One thing Temple is quickly learning is how fast time can go by during a college career.

"Last year I was a freshman and soon I'll be a junior," Temple said with a shake of his head. "With me not redshirting I feel time is going by real fast."


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