Temple defensive end Quincy Roche might’ve initially been hoping for a warm-weather bowl-game locale to cap off his team’s 8-4 season, but the Military Bowl Dec. 27 provides the Randallstown, Md., native something no warm-weather locale can.
The New Town High School graduate is having a monster redshirt junior season with 44 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. He was recently named a first-team All-American by Sports Illustrated. Now, he gets to finish his season against North Carolina in Annapolis, Md., not far from where he grew up.
“At first I was like, ‘Man, I want to go somewhere hot,'” Roche said on Glenn Clark Radio Nov. 23 of drawing the Military Bowl. “Now it’s like, ‘Well, I might get to be home for Christmas. My friends, my family are able to come watch the game. I think that’s priceless. That’s way better than being in the Bahamas or sitting on the beach. All my family will get to see me play football.”
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Roche is not the only Baltimore-area native on Temple’s roster. Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Jadan Blue is from Randallstown, Md., and attended Mount Saint Joseph, while sophomore safety DaeSean Winston (Severn, Archbishop Spalding), redshirt redshirt freshman defensive tackle Evan Boozer (Hunt Valley, Loyola Blakefield) and freshman wide receiver Kwesi Evans (Parkville, St. Frances Academy) are also from the area.
Blue is the Owls’ leading receiver, catching 87 passes for 975 yards and four touchdowns. Winston has posted 19 tackles, including one for a loss. Roche likes what all the Baltimore kids have brought north to Philadelphia.
“It’s good to have somebody that you can relate to,” Roche said. “It definitely helps with the development of the team.”
Roche will enter his hometown bowl game playing the best football of his life. In Temple’s last four regular-season games — against South Florida, Tulane, Cincinnati and UConn — Roche combined for 27 tackles and 10 sacks. The Owls went 3-1 during that stretch, allowing no more than 21 points in any of those contests.
So how has Roche finished the season in such a strong fashion?
“I’ve been eating my Wheaties,” he said.
But really, how has he done it?
“Not really one thing in particular,” Roche said. “Just a lot of little things that piled up in preparation before the games as far as taking care of your body, watching film and doing extra work after practice.”
After the Military Bowl, Roche will have to decide whether to enter the NFL Draft. Roche says he has not made a decision yet. He has a year of eligibility left for college ball, but he’s been at Temple for four years and has a degree in hand. The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Jan. 20.
One way or another, the NFL has long been on Roche’s mind having grown up in the Baltimore area. He grew up a Ravens fan and wanted to be like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs. He donned Lewis and Todd Heap jerseys. What would it be like to eventually play for the team he grew up rooting for?
“That would be a dream come true,” Roche said. “Honestly, I’d be blessed to be picked by any team. It’d be a dream come true to be picked by the Ravens and play in my hometown.”
To hear more from Roche, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Zamani Feelings/Temple University