Records await Zips

“When the University of Akron Zips host the Temple Owls on Saturday at the Rubber Bowl in the team’s 2007 Homecoming game, seniors Jabari Arthur and Brion Stokes will look to leave their mark in the team’s all-time record book. Stokes needs to record three more tackles-for-loss in his career to become UA’s leader in the category, surpassing the current high of 41 set by current Miami Dolphin Jason Taylor.”

When the University of Akron Zips host the Temple Owls on Saturday at the Rubber Bowl in the team’s 2007 Homecoming game, seniors Jabari Arthur and Brion Stokes will look to leave their mark in the team’s all-time record book.

Stokes needs to record three more tackles-for-loss in his career to become UA’s leader in the category, surpassing the current high of 41 set by current Miami Dolphin Jason Taylor.

Arthur is three receptions shy of becoming the school’s all-time career-receptions leader, breaking the record of 151 currently held by Matt Cherry. The 6-foot-4 native of Montreal, Quebec, also ranks third in receiving yards going into Saturday’s game.

Arthur competed with Luke Getsy during spring practices in 2005 before being moved to wide receiver.

In a recent news conference, Akron head coach J.D. Brookhart praised his senior leader for accepting the position change early in his career and continually striving to improve.

He sacrificed his dream of being a college quarterback, Brookhart said. I thought he would do better at wide receiver and I think that’s proven out for him. In every way, he is the right kind of guy.

Obviously, he is a physical talent but also he has a mature demeanor about him that is really engaging. He is a pleasure to have on the team.

Arthur said that his knowledge of the quarterback position helped him adapt to playing the new position, but that being able to learn from some of the veteran receivers on UA’s team the past few years has been central to his blossoming into one of the elite talents in the MAC.

Ever since I made the change from quarterback to receiver, I had great guys who were already at the receiver position who helped mold me and point me in the right direction, Arthur said.

Arthur never imagined while serving as an understudy to players like Jason Montgomery and Domenik Hixon that he would one day be in position to surpass some of their career totals.

We’ve had some absolute great receivers come through this program, Arthur said. I never thought that I’d even have the opportunity to pass them. I’m just happy to be mentioned in the same paragraph as them.

Arthur’s current average of 107 receiving yards per game leads the MAC and ranks eighth-best nationally. For his 223-yard, three-touchdown performance against Western Michigan, he was named MAC East Co-Offensive Player of the Week Monday.

Akron defensive back Andre Jones was named MAC East Co-Special Teams Player of the Week for scoring a special teams touchdown on the final play of the game at WMU to give the Zips a 39-38 win.

Akron (3-3, 2-0 MAC) will look to remain unbeaten in conference play on Saturday, against the Temple Owls (1-5, 1-2 MAC), the MAC’s newest member school to compete in football.

The two teams last met on the football field in September 1999, with the Zips winning 25-15. Saturday’s game will mark the 17th meeting all-time.

2007 marks Temple’s inaugural season in MAC football competition. Al Golden is in his second season at the helm of the Owls.

Brookhart said that despite its sub-par record, Temple provides a unique set of challenges for the Zips.

Offensively, Temple makes your kids work because of all the shifts and formations, Brookhart said. Their quarterback is a good athlete and can hurt us both ways. He has a cannon of an arm.

I think they have some great athletes. They are as good as any team in the MAC.

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.


” #1.1361692:1680670711.jpg:sportsphoto.jpg:Senior wide receiver Jabari Arthur (left) needs three catches to break UA’s receptions record and senior linebacker Brion Stokes (right) needs three tackles-for-loss to become UA’s leader.:Jeff Harwell / Zips Sports Photography”