Name: Brandon McManus
School: College of Science and Technology
Home town: Hatfield, Pa.
Why I chose Temple: "The coaches did a great job of selling us on what this university and the football program could be. When I came to campus, I could see how Temple was transforming itself (now we have a $10 million addition to our football facility). It was a good fit for me. I didn't grow up in the city, but my dad calls me a city rat. There's always something to do, from shopping to some of the best restaurants in the country. And it's the greatest sports town in the nation, with five pro teams — and now you have Temple football establishing itself as the best college football team in the area. Also, I want to be an orthopedic surgeon, and my father knew that being at Temple and in Philadelphia would really be an advantage. Temple set up an opportunity for me to shadow the team doctor, Dr. Ray Moyer. I've had a chance to scrub up and watch reconstructive surgeries after my teammates have had knee injuries."
Transformative moment: "I came out of high school with a chance to do both kicking and punting, but when I came to Temple I was asked to focus on kicking. That went well. I started as a freshman; I couldn't have asked for more. Then, starting last year I had a chance to both kick and punt (after punter Jeff Wathne graduated). It was an opportunity to be on the field more and control the game by controlling field position. There are only eight of us who both kick and punt in the entire country out of more than 120 teams. Doing both, I always have to be ready. It keeps my head in the game.
"Most people who do both say kicking is more challenging than punting because of the pressure of making game-winning field goals. But I like that pressure. I embrace it. I've had three opportunities to kick a game-winning field goal so far at Temple, and I made all three.
"I have always liked to do meticulous things. I like to draw, for example. That's part of what interests me about being an orthopedic surgeon. Kicking and punting are like that. You have to be precise. People say football is a game of inches, but kicking and punting are even more precise than that. If you miss your spot by less than a centimeter, it can translate to your kick being off by 10 yards."
"I know that the adaptability, the leadership skills and the ability to work together as a team that I've acquired from playing football will help me after Temple. Teamwork is such an underrated thing. The long snapper, the holder, the line and me — if any of us doesn't do our job, I won't get the kick off."