Temple quarterback Chris Coyer practices at H-back

Temple quarterback Chris Coyer (10) runs against Wyoming in the second half of the New Mexico Bowl NCAA college football game in Albuquerque, N.M., Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011. Temple defeated Wyoming 37-15. (AP Photo/Jake Schoellkopf)
Temple quarterback Chris Coyer (10) runs against Wyoming in the second half of the New Mexico Bowl NCAA college football game in Albuquerque, N.M., Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011. Temple defeated Wyoming 37-15. (AP Photo/Jake Schoellkopf) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Posted: April 17, 2013

Chris Coyer is still listed as a quarterback - for now.

The Temple fifth-year senior also lined up at tight end/H-back during Tuesday's spring practice, and the 6-foot-3, 230-pounder caught two touchdown passes.

However, Owls coach Matt Rhule said Coyer is still a quarterback. With Connor Reilly listed as the first-stringer, Temple is trying Coyer at other offensive positions, looking to get one of its best athletes on the field.

"I just felt like it was the best move for the team," Coyer said after practice. "And it was the best way for me to help the team at this point. I think it adds maybe a little bit of versatility to our offense. We can do some different things in the game with me at different positions."

He said lining up at H-back first crossed his mind a couple of weeks ago.

"The thing about Chris is, he understands he's going to do whatever we need," Rhule said. "He's a team guy and Temple first. He just kind of said, 'I can get open. I can catch this. I can catch that.' "

Coyer was named Temple's starting quarterback with four games left in 2011. He capped that season by being named the offensive MVP of the New Mexico Bowl.

But the Virginia native passed for just 946 yards in last season's first nine games. Coyer was expected to battle Juice Granger for the starting quarterback spot this spring before Reilly was promoted from fourth string after his arm strength impressed the new coaching staff.

Kevin Newsome, another quarterback, was moved to H-back before suffering a spring practice-ending shoulder injury.

The Cherry and White Game is Saturday.

Gateway pipeline. The hiring of former Gateway High School coach Terry Smith as wide receivers coach has turned out to be a huge recruiting benefit.

On Saturday, Gateway juniors Brenon Thrift and Delvon Randall became the second and third Gators to commit to the Owls since Smith joined Temple's staff in January. Senior cornerback Todd Jeter signed with Temple in February, and is a member of the Owls' 2013 recruiting class.

Meanwhile, Thrift and Randall join St. Peter's Prep junior Shamir Bearfield as the first three members of Temple's 2014 recruiting class.

Thrift, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound outside linebacker/defensive end, chose Temple over West Virginia and Pittsburgh.

Randall is a 6-foot, 190-pounder, who was recruited as an athlete. He picked Temple over Bowling Green, Toledo, and Akron. Bearfield chose Temple over Rutgers and Michigan State.


Contact Keith Pompey at kpompey@phillynews.com Follow on Twitter @pompeysgridlock

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