Mobley joins Temple Owls as a walk-on kicker

By on August 30, 2017
Will Mobley, who scored 96 points in two seasons as Warwick’s kicker, has joined the Temple University football team as a walk-on.

Will Mobley, who scored 96 points in two seasons as Warwick’s kicker, has joined the Temple University football team as a walk-on.

Will Mobley was hoping for good news by the end of the week.

Turns out, the 2017 Warwick High School grad didn’t have to wait nearly that long.

Only hours after trying out for the Division-One Temple University football team as a kicker, he received an email from the team on Monday night.

“They said they’d contact us by Friday at the latest … I was excited to see it,” Mobley said.

Doubly excited after he saw that the Owls invited him to join the squad as a walk-on.

“Not too long,” Mobley said laughing when asked how long it took for him to reply. “I was excited by that and thankful for it, but now even more work begins, which I’m excited for.”

Restful sleep on Sunday night probably wasn’t in great supply.

“I was nervous a little bit going into it, but when I got there, I felt more relaxed,” said Mobley, who went from tryouts right to his first college class. “I knew I could trust myself and my family believed in me, so it was able to work out fortunately.”

On Tuesday, Mobley had a concussion baseline test done, and he is looking forward to meeting with coaches soon.

Temple has two other kickers currently listed on its roster, including redshirt sophomore Jake Geiger and sophomore Aaron Boumerhi.

So Mobley, a Section One First-Team All-Star for Warwick in 2016, doesn’t expect to jump right into a starting role at this point.

“I think I’ll primarily be the back-up and maybe a redshirt if it goes well, I’m not sure yet,” he said.

Soccer was primarily what Mobley was looking to play in college for awhile, having played for years with the PA Classics Academy team. In his senior year, he was a First-Team Section One All-Star in soccer and a key member for the Warrior basketball team as well.

While converting 47 PATs and seven field goals for Warwick’s football team, however, Mobley started to think more about a college career on the gridiron. In his two-year career with the Warriors, he scored 96 total points.

“(Kicking) coach (Joe) Brenner helped me put film together of my highlights from the past couple of years, and then I sent that film and drafted an email out to Temple,” said Mobley, who is studying in the Fox School of Business, but undecided on a major. “I actually sent it several times and the (Owls’) kicking coach responded, he was interested and had me come to one of their spring practices on a weekend … He offered me an opportunity to try out here if I decided to come.”

Pitt and Syracuse were also among Mobley’s final three in his college search. Temple, however, offered the best opportunities.

“When I was looking,” Mobley said, “I wanted to go to a larger school and one that was closer to a city and had a strong business program. I found all three of those points here at Temple and they offered me an opportunity to try out as a kicker, which enhanced my decision-making and made me want to come here even more. It was an added bonus that I’m really thankful for.”

Initially, Temple indicated to Mobley that tryouts would be conducted in mid to late June. Eventually, they were moved to early July and then to August, when tryouts for all other positions were held.

“I felt like it allowed me to work on my technique and build extra strength and be more prepared for the tryout and for the season,” Mobley said.

Building strength was particularly important given the variables of going from high school to college, where kickers can no longer attempt field goals and extra-points off of a block and where the kickoff tees are an inch shorter.

“Everything goes lower to the ground, which makes it more difficult,” Mobley said. “That typically takes distance out of the ball on both kicks, so you have to add extra height because the guys are taller. It’s definitely a change, and adjustments need to be made.”

His training included working out five days a week at Power Train Sports Performance in Manheim, where they tailored drills to his specific sport and needs.

“I’m not doing something that a linebacker or maybe a swimmer would do,” Mobley said. “I’m doing something that specifically is successful for kickers. They’ve worked with professionals like (former Philadelphia Eagles kicker) David Akers and others in the past, so I give them a lot of credit.”

Mobley, who also went out to a field three or four nights a week, also received tips and pointers from Brenner and former Manheim Central kicker Taylor Groff.

“I appreciated their help,” Mobley said. “It was a long summer process, but it was great. I enjoyed it.”

Once he finally got to the tryout, there was a bit of a shocking development.

“They did not have us kick actually, which was a major surprise for me,” Mobley said, “because I was expecting to go in there and line up for field goals and then move to kickoffs and so on. They didn’t want us to kick because they had seen our film. They just had us go through the agility drills with the rest of the position players. So we were there doing what linebackers, receivers and running backs were doing essentially. It was unique, but it was a good experience and I think I did feel confident in myself.”

The Owls’ coaches obviously liked what they saw.

And there’s certainly a lot to like about the direction of the Temple football program.

First-year skipper Geoff Collins, a former defensive coordinator at the University of Florida, is taking over a program coming off of back-to-back 10-win seasons, defeating Navy 34-10 in last year’s American Athletic Conference championship game and then falling to Wake Forest 34-26 in the 2016 Military Bowl.

“It’s a program that’s on the rise,” Mobley said. “It’s an exciting program. I hope to help be a part of the future and success of it.”

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