Owls' Dvoracek gets first-team reps
Parkland graduate Rob Dvoracek is in the process of getting back on the field where he saw immediate success. He was one of only three true freshman to play in all 11 games last year for the Temple University football team, making 10 tackles and one sack.
The sophomore is awaiting word from a doctor as to when he can return to the field from a hand injury that has kept him from practicing the last couple of weeks. Once he's fully healthy, Dvoracek is ready to raise his numbers from his freshman campaign.
"Freshman year was definitely a huge transition with the entire college experience," said Dvoracek.
"The football aspect, you are involved with that sometimes 12-14 hours a day. Playing linebacker, the guys are so much bigger, faster and stronger than anyone in high school."
Dvoracek and his Owls teammates are also transitioning to a brand new coaching staff in 2013. Matt Rhule, who served as an assistant coach at Temple from 2006-2011, was named the 26th Owls coach taking over for Steve Addazio, who left for Boston College.
"We're putting in a whole new scheme, defensively and offensively," said Dvoracek. "Learning the playbook is tough so we're in there everyday studying, which I never did in high school. It's definitely a whole new learning experience and there's a lot of hours going into it."
Dvoracek was getting first-team reps at linebacker during summer camp, and noted that meetings and film has helped him to perform better on the field.
"We're spending a lot of time in the film room and at meetings correcting what we need to," he said. "When you're out on the field you just go play."
Temple is now longer playing in the Big East. The Owls have joined the 10-team American Athletic Conference. Along with playing top 25 teams Louisville and Houston, the Owls open up with a trip to Notre Dame this weekend.
"It's a tough schedule," added Dvoracek. "We play two top 10 schools so, it's definitely going to be a challenge."
Balancing academics with a Division I sport is always a major challenge for student-athletes, but Dvoracek has found success in the classroom as well as on the field.
The secondary education major was named a 2012 Big East All-Academic Team honoree, earning a 3.6 grade point average.
"All freshman have a mandatory study hall for an hour or two every day," Dvoracek stated. "We take two classes in the summer to help out with our courses, so we're on pace to graduate in three and a half years. I think it's tough in the fall to learn our plays and focus on football while still being successful in the classroom."
The success he experienced at Parkland has helped him push for the same at Temple. As a high school senior Dvoracek earned first-team PIAA 4A All-State at running back, first-team EasternPAFootball.com All-State on defense, first-team Lehigh Valley Conference All-Star at linebacker and 2011 Lehigh Valley Conference Defensive MVP. He was also a three-year letter winner in basketball.
"My senior year was the best time of my life," Dvoracek explained. "We had good teams and the big thing was we just had fun. You have to have fun when you're playing. At Parkland you have great opportunities to succeed in the classroom and at sports. The coaches and teachers are unbelievable."
Temple opens up the 2013 season this Saturday at 3:30 on NBCSports against Notre Dame.