The Road Back

Senior Rebel Cornerback Marcus Temple missed spring training while recovering from sports hernia surgery. He's back now and feeling "better than ever."

For most of the 2010 season, Cornerback Marcus Temple knew something wasn't right with him physically, but he kept playing.

At the end of the season, the pain intensified and he finally went to the Ole Miss training staff.

Sports hernia. Surgery. Goodbye spring training.

Now, after a couple of months of rehab and an "awesome," and healthy, offseason, Marcus feels right.

"I feel better than I have felt in a long time," he declared. "The guys in the training room deserve the credit. Once I had the surgery, they got me rehabbed quickly and I was able to go back to work in the summer."

Marcus, a three-year letterman who was a starter a year ago at CB, couldn't wait.

"It was tough standing on the sidelines in the spring, especially when Coach (Keith) Burns was new and it was a time for everyone to prove themselves to him with a good first impression," he stated. "Coach Burns was understanding about it and told me not to worry about it, that I could get caught up, that he had watched film on me and he knew what I could do, but I still wanted to be out there so I could show him first-hand what I was all about."

Marcus, according to Strength & Conditioning Coach Don Decker, put in double time in the offseason program.

Marcus Temple
Chuck Rounsaville
"He was outstanding all summer. Marcus was one of those guys - and we had several in the summer - who led the way. We had a very successful offseason and one of the reasons was guys like Marcus Temple setting the pace," said Decker.

Temple could not wait for August practice. He was healthy, number one, and in the best shape of his young life, number two.

"I'm stronger than I have ever been and I feel faster," said Marcus, who teammates and coaches call Temp. "This is my last year and I am going to make the most of it."

Marcus watched Burns all spring and knew what to expect when August drills began.

"He brings so much energy to the secondary and he's a player's coach. Coach Burns is tough and demanding, but he does it in an encouraging way," Temple explained. "He makes you want to reach his level of expectations and they are high. He motivates me to please him and be my very best."

While Temple absorbed some of Burns' techniques through osmosis in spring, there's nothing like doing it live and he likes what is being taught.

"He wants us to get the ball, period, and he has given us the techniques to use to get us in a position to get our hands on the ball," Marcus continued. "It's up to us to execute those techniques. When we do, we make plays. I love his aggressive style of coaching."

Temple is also excited about the talent level at cornerback now residing at Ole Miss.

"The coaches brought in some great talent this year and it has created a lot of competition," he said. "Competition will make us all better. Wesley Pendleton came from junior college and is really talented. Charles (Sawyer) gets better every day. Senquez Golson is a freshman who doesn't play like a freshman. Nick Brassell can play on both sides of the ball and he makes things happen no matter where they put him.

"We all love to compete, but at the same time, I am the senior and I'm going to help those guys get better. I always tell them, if you have any questions, I am here for you. At the same time, I am definitely looking over my shoulder. They want my job, and that's the way it should be. Best man wins."

Temple is currently healty, happy and working with the number one defense.

Will he keep his job? That will only be answered in time, but either way, one gets the feeling he will be a valuable piece of the defensive puzzle.

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