You think someone less than six foot tall at the RB position, you automatically start thinking elusive, shifty, basically an ankle-breaker. Forget that for a second and think about a young man that is a RB that can squat around 500 lbs. Ok, there's a different opinion then as you think of a stocky sort that's physical, punishing and can run through people with that leg strength of his and of course, he's hard to bring down.
Roll them up into a ball though, because that's Tony Temple as his reported measurables of 5'10" - 195 lbs. and a 40 of 4.35 would clearly illustrate.
It's not a matter of if he'll get to you, only how.
That versatility and sheer athleticism got Temple over the coveted 2 K mark in yards last year, while Tony managed to gallop into the end-zone 35 times.
If you ask anyone else what his strength is, they might not be able to narrow it down to any one thing or even a couple. Temple couldn't either. "Yeah, I can move and I am elusive and all that, but I will run over someone, because a lot of people just don't realize how powerful I am."
"It's like sometimes I want to run over a couple of guys or something and then, maybe make a move on them later. I like to mix it up."
Stats and measurements are usually enough to get you plenty of attention, but when people start mentioning your name along the side of Barry Sanders, well, some shake their head at another comparison to the future Hall of Famer. Tell me that won't turn heads though.
Style aside and stats aside, Temple hasn't let the attention and accolades go to his head, something that would be easy to do when you are just turning a senior in high school. "My focus has never been on what others say about me." Temple stated. "It's about what I do and what my team needs me to do for us to be good."
"I can't worry about stuff that doesn't help us win games, because winning games is all that matters."
That "stuff" doesn't concern Tony, but as we all know, it's what consumes most everyone else, colleges included. Tony's potential and what he will do this year, all equally interesting and at times, compelling as well.
It hasn't phased him a bit though. "My team deserves my full attention, because I owe them nothing less." he said. "The team comes first, my teammates come first and I worry about what we can do before I worry about what I am going to do in regards to colleges."
The list of colleges courting Temple is long and illustrious. Some of those that have already extended offers to the Missouri standout are of course Missouri, followed by Michigan, Iowa, UCLA and Kansas State, just to name a few.
As for who he is interested in, Temple is sticking to his "neutral" philosophy, not committing to interest in any one team right now. "You know, I just don't really think about it that much right now." he said. "That's not where my focus should be."
"I'll take my visits after the season and figure it all out then, but until that time, my team is all I can really think about. Again, it's about winning games and that's all I want to do."
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-730-5619