Temple Football: Just How Good Is Recruiting?

Shareef Miller, Temple football,

Adding Shareef Miller could be the domino that moves Temple football recruiting from good to great

Social media is a great tool to follow college football recruiting and, if you have been following twitter in the past few days, there has been a significant buzz regarding Temple football.

Some of the top recruits not only in the region are seriously talking about committing to the Owls and if that gets done, head coach Matt Rhule will be in better position to do what he was  brought in to do—win games.

Because for all the buzz surrounding Rhule’s second recruiting class, it was still ranked behind Steve Addazio’s 2012 class nationally and the second-best recruiting class in Temple history. It was still ranked No. 4 in the AAC—impressive for a 2-10 school but maybe not good enough to get the job done.

If some the people mentioning Temple on their twitter feeds—most notably George Washington High School’s Shareef Miller—make an early commitment to the school, they can be the Pied Piper leading other four- and five-star recruits to the Philadelphia school.

I’ve always thought that Temple could become the new U (like Miami of Florida became), enticing urban talent to stay home and build something new and exciting, just like the Florida kids did for the Hurricanes.

But it has got to turn from talk in the newspaper article here into reality.

Plus, if you go from a national championship staff at Florida (offensive coordinator Steve Addazio, defensive coordinator Chuck Heater, quarterbacks’ coach Scot Loeffler)  to guys Rhule hired from Tennessee Chattanooga  (Marcus Satterfield)  and Eastern Michigan (Phil Snow), the game day credibility just doesn’t measure up. We all saw what happened on game day last year and it was not pretty.

Daz had his faults, but no one with a shred of credibility can say his 2011 staff was less qualified than Rhule’s 2014 staff.

I’ll never forget what John Palumbo told his father after Daz’s first spring camp: “Dad, I thought Golden was good but these guys from Florida are big-time SEC coaches and it is not even close.”

Until Matt Rhule wins on a consistent basis, it will stay that far apart. Getting some four- and five-star recruits in here might begin to make a difference but until these guys sign on the dotted line, it’s just talk.

The earlier talk the talk becomes walk the walk the better. All it takes is one guy. He might already be here, too.

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34 thoughts on “Temple Football: Just How Good Is Recruiting?

  1. Mike – as always, great post, thank you. but ‘good to great’? c’mon, good compared to what? our lousy history? good compared to the two other major college teams in PA? good compared to the other 2-10 teams in the nation? point well taken is that it has to start with someone, but the most important point is that is has yet to start

  2. *it has yet to start

    • true … it has YET to start but when you have a kid whose next visit is UCLA say Temple is his “top” school, it is great. Now we will see how great a closer Matt Rhule is. Miller brought a number of top kids on his last visit to Temple, so it’s not just him. Waking up on game day still scares the crap out of me and it will until Rhule hires back Heater away from Marshall. does he have the balls to do it? Probably not. I have a feeling Matt is just the kind of “nice guy” who would take going down with the ship with a friend (Snow) than sailing that ship to an America’s Cup win with Heater.

      • Mike, you always have a way of putting into words my fears. I am still excited and hopeful about the season, but “going down with the ship” is the fear that won’t go away. Let’s hope.

      • Sadly, most of the “experts” predict he will go to Penn State, a few say Rutgers, and none have said Temple. Although the latest predictions were in April. Miller would be a huge boost for our class and hopefully set a precedent for other Philly and locate recruits to stay close to home.

      • local*

  3. Mike, totally agree with you regarding the game day situation, especially on defense. If this defense doesn’t show considerable improvement over 2013 then, while I know it won’t happen, Snow has to go. I don’t want to here that this is such a “young” team by the apologists, if you look at the roster there is what should be a solid core of juniors who had considerable playing time over the past 2 years and a full season learning Snow’s defense. Just as a sample you have Walton and Ionnidis on the line, Matekevich and Smith at LB, along with the juco transfers at safety. That should be enough for Snow to build around. I do find it interesting that guys like Smith, 2012 all BE 3rd team and Robey seemed to have better seasons in 2012 then in 2013 under Snow.

  4. robey definitely regressed … don’t know what the deal was with him. He was much better as a freshman and sophomore than as a junior.

  5. the owls jinx themselves.., Rhule was a choice the school made.., and, Snow was a choice that Rhule made.., bad decisions result in worse results.., a good choice now would be to recruit the son and let the family move to the Philly area in a more hospitable environment…, the situation with the elder will play-out in court for many months to come, or they could reach an out of court settlement.., it is possible to show loyalty while maintaining an acceptable distance and degree of separation….,

    hmu Rhule is way overrated as a recruiter..,
    Franklin is showing the entire nation the power of charisma and personality. Temple and Pitt should be embarrassed.., 5-7 this year

    • Franklin is also showing the power of Penn State. Comparing Temple and Pitt, especially Temple, isn’t fair. Especially considering we don’t have comparable facilities, boosters, tradition, and just about every other asset that aids in recruiting.

  6. The proof is in the pudding. If Daz had such a great class then the performance on the field is especially disappointing. I’ll ordain Rhule a good recruiter when he starts landing some three star recruits, nevermind four stars because that won’t happen anytime soon and is an unfair hurdle for him to clear given the history of our program. I’ll consider him a great recruiter when he identifies and develops that talent overlooked by others into a team that qualifies for a national bowl game not named after canned meat or a regional fast food chain.

    • Rhule landed many three star just last year. All of you are so quick to pronounce Rhule a failure when he is only entering his second year, the first of which he has “his” recruits (who will only be freshman). I was disappointed with last year and with several of his coaching decisions, but to declare him a failure before he even gets a chance to coach his own players is premature. We should have a legitimate chance to be bowl eligible this season and at worst should be 5-7, anything short of that than Rhule should be fired. But a little optimism for once wouldn’t hurt gents. :)

  7. Matt – yes we are guilty of being impatient and we are extremely critical…, how long should we wait? probably better to make decisions based on results rather than a pre-established timeline? just hard to swallow the money the school is shelling out for Rhule and the associated opportunity cost. just a guess, Rhule’s salary is in the top three of all the AAC football coaches? so we should expect top three results? the top three teams in the AAC will play in bowls…, will Temple be in the top 3?

  8. this isn’t the sixers. temple is a program not all that far removed from five-straight No. 1 recruiting classes in the MAC under Golden, followed by a recruiting class by Daz ranked better than all of Golden’s by scout.com. Golden’s classes would have put him in the top half of the CUSA,which is essentially where we are now. While there may have been a reason for TU to drop from 9-4 to 4-7, there was absolutely no reason (NONE) that TU should have dropped from 4-7 to 2-10 with Idaho, Fordham and an 0-9 Uconn team on the schedule. that is all Rhule’s fault, no one else’s. He better have his shit together this year.

    • Being able to out recruit the likes of Toledo and Bowling Green isn’t much of an accomplishment Mike. And there is no way it was ALL Rhule’s fault. Like I said before, if you can’t win those games on talent alone…you clearly don’t have the kind of talent that many of you indicate. Idaho and especially Fordham outplayed us for the majority of each game. Coaching was a part of it, but don’t have tunnel vision and just blame everything on Rhule when there was clearly a lack of talent. This year will be the true indicator if Rhule can coach or not. I have my skepticism as well, but I’m not going to label him a failure just because of last year.

      • coaching was ALL of Idaho and Fordham. got to run the ball in both of those games. (Fordham had a 247-pound DL and Idaho had the 125th-ranked FBS defense.) we had a 306-pound OL that opened crater-sized holes in a 63-32 win at Army the year before. that 2012 army team would have scored 63 on both Idaho and fordham. Coaches hindered Temple in those games, not helped it.

  9. my point is assessments and evalualtions should be based on facts to include the return on investment. how much money did the school pay Rhule and Snow last year and what was the return on investment? two wins and the worst defense in the conference? followed by so-so recruiting results? if Rhule and Snow were stocks would you Buy, Sell, or Hold? Probably a split between ‘Sell’ and ‘Hold’, right? The value of Temple Football right now is in the range between ‘wait/see’ and ‘below average/poor’.

    • I would “hold” on Rhule, but I was Snow should have be fired. I still can’t believe he is on the staff. But again, you can’t judge ROI immediately (if we are using that terminology). Judge Rhule by this year, see what him and his staff can do now that they have experience and his own recruiting class. If the team struggles again than we know what we have. I’m not judging Rhule on his rookie season, much like I wouldn’t judge a player.

  10. good comment, kj. you are only as good as you are viewed nationally and right now we’re viewed as crap. that changes with 10-2 seasons, not 2-10 seasons. Is there hope? Yeah. rhule seems to connect well with the kids but if you put together a staff of tenn-chat guys and failed eastern michigan guys and mix in a few GAs, where does that get you on gameday? beaten about eight of 10 times by much more savvy staffs.

    • But we have always be viewed as crap, with some exceptions where we were seen as average. You guys act like we are a juggernaut tha tcan get any coach and staff it wants. Furthermore, didn’t Rhule try to pick up an assistant (from a top tier school) but wasn’t allowed to because he had baggage? I can’t remember his name but it was a story on here months ago.

  11. Todd McNair. I support Matt Rhule’s decision to hire him. He would have provided the Temple staff credibility it does not have. To me, part of the “proof” in the Rhule pudding was that he did not fire Snow the day after the season ended. You’ve got to be cutthroat. Snow has seen his best days and they are not coming back. Why he never hired Nick Rapone (now the DB coach at the Arizona Cardinals, who WANTED the dc job at Temple) is beyond me. (well, no, it isn’t … rapone wasn’t rhule’s friend, as snow is/was). Now if Temple administration is getting in the way of rhule hiring who he wants, then we’re doomed because they are tying his hands behind his back.

    • Exactly, it makes me think that if Rhule doesn’t have control over who he can hire…maybe he doesn’t have control over who he can fire. Snow still being here still blows my mind. Hopefully he proves us wrong, no matter how unlikely that is.

  12. How Temple plays in the Vandy game is really important. Will the team play play well fundamentally, great game plan with decisive second half adjustments? Temple looked very respectable against Notre Dame despite being “Snowballed”……, Vandy will have zero respect for Temple and this is a winnable game provided we have a great game plan, make a few FGs, and don’t get beat on long passes……,

    • from what I saw of the spring game, these 3 new dbs (jefferson, lovett, wells) are HUGE upgrades over the two safties and one CB we had vs. Notre Dame. that gives me some hope against vandy. still, we play the man and not the ball. Is that snow’s philosophy or was it dictated by talent? when dick bedesem was the db coach at temple, he preached once that ball is in the air it belongs to temple as much as the bad guys. as a result, temple led the nation with 26 interceptions that year. once that bad is in the air, it’s temple’s. that has to be our mindset. our philosophy under snow has been keep the man in front and tackle him once he reaches the sticks. that’s not good enough.

  13. agree 100%, an outstanding QB playing on an offense that can score with a Snowball defense still equals a loss (remember SMU?)

  14. never should have lost to smu with a 28-7 lead. run the ball behind our 306-pound line and we limit garrett gilbert’s possessions to five in the second half, not eight. even if we don’t move the ball all that well (I still believe in Kenny and Zaire’s ability to move it), we kill enough clock. as it was, we kept stopping the clock with incomplete passes and gilbert scores tds on 7 of 8 second-half possessions. dumb football.

    • Who would you (and KJ) like to see lead the team in carries: Zaire, Harper, Gilmore, or Jabo? Id like to see Zaire used as the primary running back, Gilmore and Jabo used on 3rd downs or split out wide, amd Harper used in goaline. Thoughts?

    • Maybe you could make a post about our running back situation when you have time, would be a very interesting read given the talent we have at the position. A rare, but great, problem at Temple.

  15. have not seen Jabo carry the football in person, can’t comment…., don’t think Zaire, Harper or Gilmore will ever play on Sundays…, good college players and that is it. Zaire gets caught from behind in college so no hope on Sundays, Harper is just a hard nosed college football player and probably would not start on any top 20 team, he has reached his potential.., believe the jury is still out on Gilmore but don’t think he has the potential to start on any team in the AAC

  16. Jabo is the only rb recruited hard by the SEC so he’s the big breakaway hope. also did not like zaire getting caught from behind in the smu game. that was a real red flag. thought he was much faster than that out of high school. really fear the injury has affected jabo’s 40 speed, but we won’t know that for a full month. usually, a serious injury takes off 2/10ths of a second off 40 speed, even after a full rehab.

  17. The Ali signing bumps recruiting a notch. Do have serious questions about Snow. Then, the question will be, what does Matt Rhule do if the defense fails to improve?

    • what he should have done at the end of last season: fire phil snow. I don’t see a whole lot of history of Phil Snow having stopped a spread offense in any of the jobs he had previously.

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