Competing All The Time

Whether it's a game of pool, a math test or covering a receiver, Ole Miss CB Marcus Temple gets up in the morning with one thing on his mind - competing. Read about it inside.

Junior Ole Miss Cornerback Marcus Temple doesn't back down from a challenge.

It's just his nature.

From the time he stepped on to the Ole Miss campus, he brought some mental luggage with him - a desire to compete.

That desire, that drive, showed immediately when he got substantial playing time as a true freshman, even making one of the biggest plays of the year, stopping Florida QB Tim Tebow on a 4th-and-1 that iced the upset win for Ole Miss in 2008 over the eventual national champs.

"I get up in the morning thinking about my next challenge, the next way I can get a win," smiled Temple. "I have always been like that. No matter what I am doing, I want to win.

Marcus Temple

"To put it straight, I just love to compete."

That attitude has brought Temple on the brink of being one of the starting cornerbacks this year as he relishes the opportunity to replace Cassius Vaughn.

"I respect what Cassius and Marshay (Green) did here. Marshay's work ethic is what I pattern my game after. When I first got here, I was ready to go to work, but it helps a young player to see someone like Marshay, who went 100 miles an hour every snap of every practice and every game, and even in the weight room," Temple explained. "Our goal in the secondary, and I'm sure they want this too, is to be better than they were.

"I'm competing against what they did. I'm competing for a job. I'm competing against our competition. I'm competing at teaching the younger guys what it takes by giving them a good example of right and wrong on the field and off."

Temple has heard the talk.

The talk of the front seven being real good and the secondary being unproven.

"We expect that. Fans and the media have not seen us much. We don't anticipate them thinking we are going to be as good or better than the guys we backed up last year," he said. "But that's part of the challenge, a challenge we accept.

"We have had a great summer and we have had a great start this fall. I think things are coming along nicely, but I can tell you this - we will continue competing through the whole season because we are not near where we want to be."

Individually, Temple wants to work on his overall game.

Marcus Temple

"I want to be the best I can be for this team," he said. "To do that, I have to keep polishing my whole game and I have to come out of my breaks better, specifically.

"I've been working on breaking on the ball all summer and I feel better about that and my ball skills."

While Marcus was the pupil last year, he's been thrust into the role of teacher this year to guys like Charles Sawyer, Ryan Campbell, Cliff Coleman and Frank Crawford, recently moved to corner from safety.

"They are doing real good, I think. They are looking up to me and I'm going to give them a good picture of how it's supposed to be done," he closed. "It's not only important to tell them how to do things, it's doubly important to show them that I'm going to do exactly what I am mentoring them to do.

"If I tell them not to take a lazy step and then I take one, my talk means nothing. Again, I looked up to Marshay with his work ethic and I have a natural work ethic I brought with me."

"Temp" doesn't have the name recognition of Green or Vaughn, for obvious reasons, but he feels he's cut from the same cloth.

For sure, he'll be competing to prove that.

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