Temple Owls football program takes another huge step

Chris Franklin takes a look at how Temple Owls Football during NCAA National Signing Day.

PHILADELPHIA (C+P) — 52 stories above the streets of Philadelphia still probably felt too low Matt Rhule. The Temple head coach probably felt like he was even higher off the ground than that. It has been a good time for the leader of the Owls. His team a few months ago became bowl-eligible for the first time in a few years. He and his wife Julie are about to have their third child. The reason Rhule was at The Pyramid Club in Philadelphia was to attend the Temple Recruiting Celebration. The 2015 Owls football recruiting class on paper is one of the best classes that the school’s history.

There is a couple of things that stand out from the signing class. Rhule, who has been a part of signing classes for nine years, had recruits from 9 different states, going from one coast to another. Not only did the pipeline from Timber Creek High School in New Jersey produce new Owls (Greg Webb and Kareem Ali Jr.), they were also able to sign Josiah Bronson from the state of Washington.

“As we go on the road to recruit, Temple University and Temple University football is well respected. We are not a tier-2 football team,” Rhule said to the full room.

The other thing that stood out was the amount of recruits who attended the Matt Rhule Football Camp. Just like former Owl head coach Al Golden, Rhule has a summer camp each year that gives the staff an opportunity to see the talent that is at the high school level. Out of the 19 recruits, 13 attended the camp.

Another thing that also helps the recruiting process is the support that the football team is given. Not only did athletic director Kevin Clark talk to recruits, school president Neil D. Theobald was also part of the process.

With many games being won at the line of scrimmage, the Owls have added players on both sides of the ball. On the offensive line, Jovahn Fair and Benson Isreal are big and can move. This is a necessity in today’s game filled with quick screens and zone-blocking. T.J. Simmons and Jager Gardner will enter a very crowded running backfield. It will be interesting how things will shake out for spring practices.

Just as Rhule said, this class is just another step in the right direction. If the recruits live up to their collective potential, this might have been a giant leap. There is some serious momentum that is growing with this football program.

“It was just really nice to get to know these kids and doing things the right way…These are kids that wanted to be here.”

It is a good time to be Matt Rhule.

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