Freshman QB Walker in the running at Temple

Posted: August 16, 2013

Temple football coach Matt Rhule has made it clear that freshman quarterback P.J. Walker has as good a shot as any of the quarterbacks on the roster to start the season-opener at Notre Dame on Aug. 31.

"Oh, yeah. Absolutely," Rhule responded after practice Monday when asked if the Newark Star-Ledger's 2013 high school offensive player of the year might be his starting quarterback when the season began.

"He's a very talented kid," Rhule said, "and he's got the right demeanor and work ethic."

Rhule said that he sometimes walks in on the quarterbacks and puts a protection scheme on the board - one that he thinks is pretty advanced - and tries to stump his quarterbacks.

"Some guys struggle with it," Rhule says. "But [Walker] just consumes it, studies it, and comes back. So besides his ability he also has the right approach. And that's what you're looking for. You're looking for a guy whose approach is that he's hungry to be a leader, and he is.

"So I'm excited about his future. Whether it's this year or not I don't know. But we're trying to prepare him to be the starter along with those other two."

Connor Reilly started training camp atop the depth chart. However, Reilly - who has yet to start a game for Temple - has fallen back to the pack and is battling Juice Granger and Walker.

As a senior at Elizabeth (N.J.) High School, Walker completed 107 of 156 passes for 2,012 yards, 23 touchdowns, and just one interception. Walker led Elizabeth to a 37-33 win over Piscataway in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2 Group 5 championship game. He completed 14 of 23 passes for 356 yards and four touchdowns in that game. His final TD pass was a game-winning, 49-yarder with 32 seconds remaining.

Contact John N. Mitchell at Follow on Twitter @JmitchInquirer.

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