By Christian Pundt (with E Z Tempel)
College: Western Illinois University
Hometown: Cranfills Gap, TX
|Season||Team||Games Played||Carries||Rushing Yards||Yards per Carry||Rushing Touchdowns||Receptions||Receiving Yards||Receiving Touchdowns|
|Season||Team||Games Played||Pass Attempts||Completions||Passing Yards||Touchdowns||Interceptions|
|Season||WIU||Games Played||Solo Tackles||Tackles for Loss||Interceptions||Defensive Touchdowns|
Of the elite prospects, EZ Tempel has been easily the most overlooked through his high school and college career. Originating from the small town of Cranfills Gap, Texas, Tempel is the embodiment of the core of Texas high school football. He’s one of the few prospects – and SFL players – with real experience on the ironman six-on-six gridiron.
Despite being a truly exceptional athletic talent, he was overlooked by every D1 program. Never to be brought down, Tempel enrolled at his father’s alma mater in Western Illinois University as a walk-on. Being, by far, the most versatile and dangerous weapon, and continuing to be an athlete that simply outclassed his competition, Tempel saw success at multiple positions on the field. He was utilized in the backfield out of the wildcat formations. He saw equal action on the defensive side of the ball, primarily lining up in the center of the field as a MLB or a FS. His primary responsibility was to utilize his step-above athleticism to keep up with and limit the prevailing spread offenses.
The rumors of this “flex” player soon reached SFL scouts who eventually found themselves in Macomb, Illinois. While they may have come for his versatility in the hopes he could be an end-of-roster super-utility backup player at multiple positions, they stayed for his jaw dropping athletic ability and ballhawking prowess. As the season went on, more and more scouts flocked to see the relatively overlooked Leathernecks play and Tempel’s draft stock began to rise.
Scouts considered it a shock when he opted to declare early for the draft and as reports have indicated, numerous “family, friends, and coaches” expressed their dismay to Tempel. When asked by a local media affiliate well in-tune with the situation on why he decided to leave Macomb after only two seasons, Tempel summed it up pretty neatly: “Even at the league minimum I’ll make more in a year than my father has made in half his life. I make a team, and my parents don’t have to worry about losing our home. I’ll do whatever it takes to make a team, play any position, fill any role!”
Weight: 255 lbs
40 Yard Dash: 4.61
20 Yard Dash: 2.70
10 Yard Dash: 1.66
Bench Press: 27
QB Ball Velocity 58 mph
Vertical Leap: 34.0”
Broad Jump: 122”
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.18
60 Yard Shuttle: 11.10
Tempel is the high-upside, ultra-athletic small school prospect present in every draft class. In that he’s so raw, his new team will be able to mold him into whatever role they see fit. Tempel is a flexible player capable of being an SFL talent on either side of the ball and at premier positions to boot. He’s well-known by regional scouts as a grinder and should be eligible to receive one of the highest valued rookie contracts in the class.
NFL Comparison: Josh Allen/David Johnson/Brian Urlacher
SFL Comparison: Bigger Julian Tyree/maybe a poor man’s Ray Bentley as a pure power back/Dillon Roland
– Ball hawk
– Strong and accurate thrower
– High Wonderlic
– Swiss army knife of a football player
– Texas tested and Texas tough
– Not a lot of game tape
– Has only encountered small division opposition
– Incredibly raw
– Almost as many turnovers as total scores
– Some say he’s leaving college a year early, a better option could’ve been to transfer to a bigger school to receive higher tier training
For teams looking to roll the dice, here’s an upside pick. Tempel provides gobs of potential on either side of the ball and will likely settle in at QB or RB given the sheer value and need of the position in today’s SFL (especially at the top of the order). Tempel is an exceptionally intelligent information and brings a rare work ethic to an already rare skillset in that regard and as an athlete.
CC: Alright EZ, what brought you to the SFL?
EZ: I love the game of football. It is a must coming from the great state of Texas. Fortunately, that passion has provided me the opportunity to do it at the professional level.
CC: I’ve been asking this question to all my interviewees as a little icebreaker, who do you model your game after?
EZ: I don’t know that I model my game after a particular player. I would say on the offensive side of the ball I love the toughness, football IQ, and leadership of Warren Moon and Walter Payton. On the defensive side, I absolutely love the tenacity and hard hitting tackling skills of John Lynch and Mike Singletary. The idea of going from player to coach, to front office, is something I would love to do myself in the SFL.
CC: You bring one of the more unique backgrounds to the table among the rookie class. You were an ironman at Western Illinois and going back to your 6-on-6 days at Cranfills Gaps, TX. Do you think this holds you back or gives you an edge over your SFL competition and fellow draft prospects?
EZ: I think it makes me the most flexible draft choice, but my fellow rookies that have only played one side of the ball are simply more polished players. I’m a young and raw talent. Depending on your what a team’s needs are will determine if that is good or bad thing. I’m not demanding to play a particular position. I simply want to make a team and play.
CC: For so long you’ve been demanded to play multiple positions out of necessity. It’s safe to say you’re heading to the big leagues where you’ll only be required to play one position. Which one do you hope it is?
EZ: I simply like being on the field. Put the ball in my hand or let me go hit somebody every play, either way I’ll have a smile on my face. I’m gonna let the good lord and the team that picks me to determine my fate.
CC: Professional football is often defined by that struggle to succeed, to overcome your obstacles. As we talked about before, you’ve been overlooked by the big schools and demanded from by your teams. Do you think this rugged mindset will set the tone for whichever organization drafts you?
EZ: I am hoping it is my desire to be the best teammate, and willingness to be part of a team that affects which organization drafts me. I don’t want to be just another number. I want to be the guy you want on your team and in your locker room. That is the tone I want to set.
CC: Continuing along this same theme, to be politically correct, you don’t come from the wealthiest family ever. Do you feel that SFL money is going to change you? How have you begun to prepare for this new lifestyle and what safeguards have you put in place?
EZ: It was my family’s finances that made me make the decision to declare for the draft. My parents took care of me. It is time for me to pay them back. My first priority will be getting my parents internet and a computer so they’ll be able to watch all of my games on Twitch and YouTube. Secondly, I will be making sure that they never have to worry about money ever again.
CC: Do you feel that the learning curve from Western Illinois to the SFL will be larger than your peers? Does this put you at a disadvantage?
EZ: Yes and Yes… but I’m a fast learner.
CC: What offensive/defensive systems do you feel most comfortable in on the field?
EZ: Coming from 6 on 6, the Run-and-Gun on offense. In college there was a lot of spread offenses so, defensively I spent a lot of time in coverage as a Safety in the Nickle.
CC: Cranfills Gap is pretty darn near close to Dallas. And by my estimations they’re picking #4. I also see an Illinois team – the Wildcats – picking at #5. Do you feel you could be drafted by these teams? How would you feel if you were? Do you think teams will need to trade ahead of them in order to pick you?
EZ: I will be happy to make any team. At least in Dallas, my Mom and Dad would be able to attend all my home games.
CC: Would you take yourself #1 overall if you were Aaron Arrington?
EZ: I can’t speak for Mr. Arrington. I’m not sure what his team’s needs are? There are a lot of good draft prospects. If he needs a polished player he should look at Kody Hill, Xander Gold, or Thomas Ramen. If he wants a proven talent there is J.W. Doyle, Hunter Jones, or Tank Bennett. If he wants the most confident, Aman Takess. But, if he wants the hardest worker, then I am the only choice. I’m not going to lie, it would be pretty cool.
CC: As you would know, being right in the thick of it, this is a pretty competitive rookie class that’s expected to get even larger in eligible prospects as the draft approaches and SFL Pro Bowl (Live on Twitch) is broadcasted. How important is winning Rookie of the Year?
EZ: To be honest it hasn’t even crossed my mind. As a high school and college player I considered myself blessed when the teams I played on were able to have more winds than losses in a season. I’ve never had the pleasure of winning a trophy or award for my play, so I’ve been too busy trying to make a team, to even consider winning Rookie of the Year of the SFL.
CC: Where do you see yourself at the end of the season? What about even further down the line? How long do you see your career lasting and what’ll your legacy end up being?
EZ: Hopefully quickly resigned and preparing for my second year in the league. I hope to have a good long career. I know my playing days will eventually come to an end, but I don’t want that to be the end. Like Mike Singletary and John Lynch, I’d love to work my way into coaching or the front office of an organization. Like I said I, I’m from Texas and I love football.