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Bearcats Top 10: #3 Nick Temple

Jeff Luc got all of the attention and accolades early in the year. But at the end of the season the Bearcats best linebacker was the one who has been around forever, Nick Temple.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

No one thinks about Nick Temple in terms of being one of the best linebackers in UC history, but they should because the Indianapolis native has been a rock as the strong side linebacker position seemingly forever. He made his first start when the Bearcats hosted and beat NC State on national TV, and then he never really left the starting lineup again.

For most of his career Temple has really been defined by his versatility, because for most of it he alone was capable of trucking a guard too the ground en route to a sack one play and then dropping into coverage on a speedy slot receiver the next.  He gave so many different defensive coordinators so much flexibility in their schemes. How's this for a fact, he played  for four different defensive coordinators, all with different scheme's and philosophies and Temple became one of the most consistent performers for every last one of them.

His senior season was the culmination his work, and it really was a master class because it was his most complete season statistically. He still did all of the things we have come to know and expect from Nick; he got after the quarterback a little bit (3 sacks, 2 hurries) he was effective in pass coverage (2 pass break ups) he stopped the run pretty well (10.5 TFL) all the while he was racking up career high tackle numbers with 113 tackles.

Nick Temple isn't a big guy, but he is leaving very big shoes to fill for whoever dares to try them on.