Already thin at the running back position, Temple suffered a significant setback in its efforts to improve its offensive output in 2007.
Coming into this season the Temple Owls were hoping that three potential newcomers would bolster a backfield that averaged less than 54 yards per game in 2006. But that hoped-for improvement was dealt a severe blow with news that highly-touted freshman Joe Jones would be lost for the 2007 campaign.
Jones, a 5-11, 200 pound freshman tailback out of Florida, suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during a non-contact drill recently during the Owls' football camp which will sideline him until the 2008 season. Jones came to the Temple program after rushing for 989 yards and 15 touchdowns for South Broward HS and being named first-team All-Broward County by both the Miami Herald and Florida Sun-Sentinel.
"This is really unfortunate," said Temple head coach Al Golden in a statement released by the Owls. "Joe was off to a great start here in camp. We look forward to his return for the 2008 season."
Two other highly touted recruits that many expected would raise the Owls' backfield production and increase roster depth, Kee-Ayre Griffin and Corwin Acker, will not be part of the Temple football squad in 2007 as neither player is currently enrolled at the Philadelphia school.
Griffin is a former New Jersey All-State selection who rushed for over 1500 yards in 2005 while Acker was a SuperPrep All-Mid Atlantic selection after accounting for over 2000 all-purpose yards in his senior year at Blake (MD) HS.
It is not known if or when either player will enroll at Temple.
The only returning backfield scholarship player on the Owls' roster is sophomore Jason Harper who rushed for 186 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman in 2006.