LEXINGTON, Ky. - James Temple may eventually climb higher on the professional football ladder. But after a recent attempt to do so did not produce the desired outcome, he is content with the rung on which he currently stands.
"They took me in, and I'm glad to be here," said the Bloomington Extreme defensive back. "I'm having fun, and I've got a chance to get a championship."
Bloomington guns for the United Indoor Football Eastern Conference championship today in a 6:30 p.m. playoff game against Lexington at Rupp Arena.
An honorable mention all-Gateway Conference selection for Illinois State last fall, Temple joined the Extreme for one game before missing the next two weeks while attending a combine workout held by scouts from the Arena Football League, Canadian Football League and NFL.
"No one called so I'm back here playing," Temple said. "I'm having fun. I'm enjoying it. I definitely want to play football for a while."
Despite playing just seven games for the 9-7 Extreme, Temple leads the team with four interceptions. He also has 18 solo tackles and 15 assists.
"For the year, he's probably been our most consistent defensive back," said Bloomington defensive coordinator Terry McCombs. "He very rarely makes mistakes, and he knows all the coverages. Day in and day out, he's our money guy back there."
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A safety in college, Temple has primarily played cornerback with the Extreme.
"At ISU during the summer, I would guard (receivers) like a corner because I knew I would need that skill someday wherever I play at," said Temple, a native of Savannah, Ga. "I'm used to guarding outside on the edge sometimes. I have a little experience. I'm getting better and better each week."
McCombs called Temple "a good hitter, but more importantly a sure tackler. People don't spin away from him or get out of his grasp. When he gets hold of them, you're going down. That's nice because if he gets beat, it's six points."
Temple is still getting accustomed to the additional motion allowed on offense in the UIF.
"It's still a team game. The only thing is adjusting to the motion," he said. "One guy might be on the line and the two guys on the other side might be in motion. They get down the field fast. They might come on your side of the zone, and you might get caught sleeping. But it's fun to play. It's kind of like street ball."