The 2011 Class of Temple Football Owls
|Only time will tell if Juice Granger becomes TU’s Cam Newton|
Watching Steve Addazio today he used a word that I’ve used to describe quarterbacks for years.
“What’s it?” Addazio said. “I can’t describe it, but I know it. Juice has it.”
Addazio was talking about new quarterback recruit Clinton “Juice” Granger.
The new Temple head coach was referring to it the way I’ve been describing it for years in referencing quarterbacks.
You just know if quarterbacks have it or don’t.
You can throw me all the stats in the world about how this quarterback ranks against that quarterback in terms of yards, touchdowns, etc., but “it” is the most important factor to me.
It is a hodgepodge of ingredients, that’s the best way I can put, err, it.
Overlapping skills like moxie, mobility, leadership, intelligence, will to win, toughness, guts, courage, clutchness=it.
I know who has it.
You probably know who has it.
Walter Washington had it.
Then Adam DiMichele had it.
Vaughn Charlton never had it, nor did Chester Stewart.
(Heck, I never saw anything on their high school film that ever led me to believe either one had it so I was not surprised once they got here that they struggled so mightilty to put points on the scoreboard.)
There’s not a big enough body of work to determine if Mike Gerardi or Chris Coyer have it.
I’ll tell you what. Gerardi had “it” against Buffalo, but he didn’t have it against the fake Miami.
That’s damning. That’s not it.
What is it John Chaney once said?
“If you tell me you don’t love me once, you are done.”
The rule on it is “if you have it sometimes and not others, you really don’t have it.”
Anything less is an “it” violation.
DiMichele, to me, had it all the time. So did Matty Baker, Tim Riordan, Walter Washington, Brian Broomell and Doug Shobert.
Tink Murphy never had it.
Give me a Temple quarterback with “it” and we’re in business.
I loved Al Golden for a lot of things, but not for his understanding of it.
Don’t get me wrong. Golden was a great CEO and wonderful leader at Temple, but he was not God.
He had no clue what “it” was.
Never once did Golden bring up the “it” factor in any press conference or Signing Day function.
Throwing Charlton out there and Stewart out there game after game when Golden could have recruited a better JUCO was proof Golden never understood “it.”
God, if you had Adam DiMichele once, had do you throw the fanbase Charlton and Stewart without getting a big-time JUCO All-American to push them?
That was the most encouraging thing about Wednesday’s press conference.
If a coach understands what “it” is, then I’m on board.
I don’t really care if he can express a precise definition of it because I can’t either.
So if Juice has it and Jalen Fitzpatrick has it, we’re in business because the quarterback position is that important.
There’s some Juice in this recruiting class and it doesn’t stop with the quarterback position.
Owlsports.com did a great job of introducing the recruits so I will provide that link here for those you want to delve into it further.
What follows is the Cliff Notes’ version with my analysis at the end:
Robbie Anderson, WR, 6-3 180, Davie, Fla. • South Plantation HS _ High School: Three-year letterwinner that played wide receiver and safety for coach Doug Gatewood at South Plantation HS … also returned kicks … finished prep career with 42 receptions for 545 yards and six touchdowns … as a junior, had 39 receptions for 477 yards and six touchdowns … selected Temple over Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Marshall.
TFF ANALYSIS: Owlsports doesn’t mention Western Michigan, which had Anderson as committed as late as Tuesday of this week. According to this story, he assured a Western Michigan newspaper as late as Feb. 1 that he would honor his WMU commitment. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? I think he could be moved to safety, an area of need for the Owls.
Naniyah Bah, WR • Freshman • 6-2 • 184, Clinton, Conn. • The Morgan School (pronounced NINE-ee baah) _ Played wide receiver and defensive back for coach Mike Eagle at The Morgan School … as a senior, had 49 receptions for 724 receiving yards and seven touchdowns … also had 29 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown at running back … had 29 tackles and two interceptions at defensive back … 2009 All-Pequot League honoree.
TFF: Love the speed and 1,000-yard history as a rusher, which shows me his RAC (run-after-catch) ability, which would make him suitable for immediate playing time in Addazio’s spread offense. Will be in the mix for receiver immediately.
Antonio Belt, WR • Freshman • 6-0 • 170, Forestville, Md. • Forestville Military Academy • Fork Union Military Academy _ Belt played wide receiver for coach John Shuman during the 2010 season at Fork Union … helped the Cadets to a 6-2 record … fellow FUMA teammates Nate Smith and Hershey Walton are Temple signees.
High School: Three-star prospect by Scout.com and Rivals.com … played quarterback, wide receiver, and cornerback for coach Charles Harley at Forestville Military Academy … as a senior, rushed for 414 yards, had 448 yards passing, and had 403 receiving yards and three touchdowns … as a junior, had 11 touchdown receptions … as a sophomore, had four touchdowns and returned two interceptions … also played basketball.
TFF: Athleticism and the year of maturity at Fork Union puts him in the mix immediately.
Brandon Chudnoff, LB • Freshman • 6-2 • 228, Philadelphia, Pa. • George Washington HS _ High School: Played tight end and defensive end for coach Ron Cohen at George Washington HS … rated the 33rd best player in Pennsylvania in the Class of 2011by Rivals.com … 2010 Mini Max Award winner by the Maxwell Football Club … 2010 Associated Press second-team Class AAAA All-State honoree as a senior … 2010 Pennsylvania Sportswriters’ second-team Class AAAA All-State honoree … 2010 Philadelphia Inquirer first-team defense All-Southeastern Pennsylvania pick … 2010 All-City honoree … 2010 Public League AAAA Gold Defense All-Star … All-Combine second-team selection at the U.S. Army All-American Combine … team won three consecutive Public League championships … registered 450 tackles and 18 sacks during prep career … participated in the 2010 Chesapeake Bowl … 2009 first-team coaches’ All-Public League selection … 2009 Philadelphia Daily News third-team All-City pick … as a junior, had 10 sacks and 11 receptions for 119 yards and three touchdowns … National Honor Society member … 2007-08-09 Top Achiever Award recipient from the Philadelphia Eagles … also participated in swimming and lacrosse … attended the 2010 Temple Football Camp … high school teammate Daquan Cooper is a fellow Temple signee.
TFF: Workout freak who is versatile enough to play either DE or OLB. With an injury at either position, could see immediate playing time. Must improve as a pass rusher.
Daquan Cooper, WR • Freshman • 5-10 • 161, Philadelphia, Pa. • George Washington HS _ (pronounced DAY-qwahn) _ High School: Two-way athlete for coach Ron Cohen at George Washington HS … 2010 Associated Press second-team Class AAAA All-State honoree as a senior … 2010 Pennsylvania Sportswriters’ second-team Class AAAA All-State honoree … 2010 Public League AAAA Gold Offense All-Star … played wide receiver and defensive back … also returned punts and kickoffs … as a senior, had 24 receptions for 426 yards and six touchdowns … participated in the 2010 Chesapeake Bowl … … attended the 2010 Temple Football Camp … high school teammate Brandon Chudnoff is a fellow Temple signee.
TFF: Immediate candidate to be Temple’s next great punter returner after Delano Green.
Malcolm Eugene, WR • Junior • 6-4 • 205 _ Huntington, N.Y. • Elwood-John Glenn HS • ASA College _
Enrolled at Temple in January … has three seasons to play two … originally signed a National Letter of Intent with Hofstra in February 2009.
Junior College: A 2010 JUCO All-American … three-star prospect by Rivals.com … played two seasons at Brooklyn’s ASA College for coach Dennis Orlando … 2010 first-team All-Conference honoree … helped team to back-to-back 7-3 records … as a sophomore in 2010, had 49 receptions for 898 yards and eight touchdowns … participated in the 2010 Triumphant Sports Junior College All-American game … as a freshman in 2009, had 21 receptions for 335 yards and five touchdowns … ASA teammate Jerry Watters is also a Temple Owl.
TFF: Seldom drops a ball, much like current Owl Rod Streeter. Could be a great compliment to Streeter at the other end.
Jalen Fitzpatrick, QB • Freshman • 5-11 • 180, Harrisburg, Pa. • Harrisburg HS _ High School: Played quarterback for coach George Chaump at Harrisburg HS … 2010 Pennsylvania Sportswriters’ Class AAAA first-team All-State quarterback … 2010 first-team Harrisburg Patriot-News All-Star … selected to play in the 2011 Pennsylvania Big 33 game … finished prep career with 3,075 yards passing and 28 touchdowns while rushing for 1,675 yards and 16 TDs … helped Harrisburg to a 9-3 overall record and a perfect 6-0 conference record as a senior in 2010… as a senior, went 98-of-179 for 1,743 yards and 17 touchdowns … also rushed for 1,116 yards … also played basketball.
TFF: If this kid was 6-2, not 5-10, he’d be recruited by every SEC school. Don’t count him out in the QB mix, because he moves around to see open receivers downfield. I think Addazio will give him a shot to dazzle at QB first.
Clinton Granger, QB • Sophomore • 6-3 • 235, Philadelphia, Pa. • George Washington HS • Pierce College _ Junior College: Played quarterback for coach Efrain Martinez at Pierce College in Los Angeles … 2010 second-team All-Pacific Conference selection … in 2010, passed for 1,176 yards and 10 touchdowns while rushing for 200 yards and five touchdowns … redshirted as a true freshman … selected Temple over Florida International, Minnesota, and North Texas.
TFF: I hate (actually love) to say this, but this kid reminds me of Cam Newton in everything he does. He’s got the ability to feel the rush and either get rid of the ball or take it upfield for positive yardage. Temple hasn’t had that since 2008.
Kenneth Harper, SS • Freshman • 6-0 • 215, Gainesville, Fla. • Buchholz HS _ High School: Played fullback and safety for coach Jay Godwin at Buchholz HS … participated in the 2010 Orlando Nike Combine, earning All-Combine honors as an athlete … two-time first-team Gainesville Sun All-Area honoree … as a senior, had 133 tackles, including 81 solos, two interceptions, and 10 break-ups … as a junior, rushed 32 times for 240 yards and had 20 receptions for 333 yards … also had 91 tackles, including 63 solo takedowns, five TFL, 10 break-ups, and two interceptions… also played basketball … Buchholz teammate TE Louis Addazio plays at Syracuse.
TFF: An incredibly impressive playmaker who I predict has the best chance to becoming a true freshman starter from this class (Juice Granger is a close second). Smart, tough.
Tyron Harris, WR • Junior • 6-3 • 195, Lindenwold, N.J. • Lindenwold HS • Pierce College (Calif.) _
Junior College: Played two seasons for coach Efrain Martinez at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif. … received his associate’s degree in December 2010 … helped the Bulls to an 8-3 record en route to a win in the American Championship Bowl … as a sophomore in 2010, had 38 receptions for 708 yards and six touchdowns while playing all 11 games … 2009 second-team All-Conference honoree … as a freshman, had 32 receptions for 603 yards and seven touchdowns … participated in the Elite Combine as a junior … became the second Division I-A player to come out of Lindenwold HS, joining Dell Robinson who played at Navy … attended the 2008 Temple Football Camp … selected Temple over Hawaii, New Mexico State, and Wisconsin.
TFF: His symbiotic relationship with Juice Granger gives him a great shot to get on the field often.
|Chris Hutton with the stiff arm|
Chris Hutton, DB • Freshman • 5-10 • 185, Sicklerville, N.J. • Paul VI HS _ High School: Played wide receiver and cornerback for coach John Doherty at Paul VI HS … as a senior, had 32 tackles, four interceptions, and a sack to help Paul VI finish 8-2 overall and win the West Jersey Football League Constitution Division title … offensively, had 14 receptions for 301 yards and two touchdowns … had six tackles in the title-clinching victory over Camden Catholic … attended the 2010 Nike Combine … … attended the 2010 Temple Football Camp … selected Temple over Rutgers.
TFF: Tremendous bloodlines (brothers played at Temple and Notre Dame) means he’s got a chance to be horse for us in the defensive backfield. Call him Smarty Jones.
Cory Johnson, DT • Freshman • 6-3 • 285, Chambersburg, Pa. • Chambersburg Area HS _ High School: Played for coach Mark Saunders at Chambersburg Area HS … moved from defensive end to tackle as a senior 2010 second-team All-Conference selection … 2010 first-team Public Opinion Online All-Star … as a senior, had 101 tackles, 24 TFL, and three sacks … had a season-high 18 tackles against Central Dauphin … attended the 2010 Temple Football Camp … also participated in track and field … finished eighth in the shot put at the 2010 PIAA Track and Field Championships.
TFF: Likely to be redshirted due to depth at DT.
Eric Lofton, OL • Freshman • 6-5 • 280, Lumberton, N.J. • Rancocas Valley HS _ High School: Played tight end and offensive tackle for coach Dan Haussman at Rancocas Valley HS … as a senior, had two receptions for 21 yards … also wrestled at heavyweight for the Red Devils … also recruited by Villanova and Rutgers.
TFF: Outstanding athlete who will eventually work his way into the OT rotation, but may need a redshirt year.
Praise Martin-Oguike, LB • Freshman • 6-1 • 220, Sewaren, N.J. • Woodbridge HS _ (pronounced oh-GEEK-way) _ High School: Played linebacker and tight end for coach Brian Russo at Woodbridge HS … … as a senior, had 112 tackles and 12 sacks … as a junior, had 90 tackles, two sacks, two blocked punts, and a blocked field goal … also participated in track and basketball … attended the 2010 Temple Football Camp … also recruited by Rutgers, Connecticut, and Cincinnati.
TFF: This kid reminds me of Junior Galette, who made the Saints, and you know what he did his first year, which was start and make the greatest punt block in Temple history. I would not be surprised to see OH GEEK WAY do the same.
Jacob Quinn, OL • Freshman • 6-5 • 245, Wilmington, Del. • St. Mark’s HS
_ High School: Team captain … played offensive and defensive tackle for coach John Wilson at St. Mark’s HS … 2010 Delaware High School State Lineman of the Year … 2010 and 2009 first-team All-State honoree … helped the Spartans to a perfect 12-0 record as a senior in 2010 en route to the state championship … three-year starter … as a senior, had 66 tackles and nine sacks … 2009 first-team All-Conference honoree for offense line … selected to the 2009 Football Leadership Council … played right tackle as a sophomore … attended the 2010 Temple Football Camp … also recruited by Delaware and Maryland.
TFF: I like his versatility in that he can move to either side of the ball. Certainly has the talent to play right away.
|Spencer Reid shows moves his dad doesn’t have.|
Spencer Reid, RB • Freshman • 5-10 • 205, Villanova, Pa. • Harriton HS _ High School: Played running back and linebacker for coach Matt Barr as a senior at Harriton HS … 2010 second-team All-Main Line honoree … played tailback at St. Joseph’s Prep as a sophomore and junior … as a junior, finished as the second-leading rusher for the Hawks with 416 yards and six touchdowns on 65 carries while playing in only six games … averaged 6.4 yards per carry and over 69 yards per game … had a career game to remember against Archbishop Ryan, running for 176 yards and scoring four touchdowns … attended the 2010 Temple Football Camp.
TFF: Love the kid, but I don’t get this scholarship on anything but a PR level. Instead of having a second-team All-Central League running back who runs a 4.5, Daz could have had a three-time first-team all-state running back who runs a 4.4.-40 (Ryan Brumfield), a kid who is the same size, the same great student, the same great person. That kid is going to kill us for four years at Eastern Michigan. I hope Spencer Reid reminds us all of Bernard Pierce but, sadly, I don’t think so. Why not offer both Brumfield, who wanted to be here, and Spencer Reid? Prove me wrong, Spencer. I’ll be rooting for you. (Really.) Reid’s ceiling (the best he can be) is a Mark Bright, who was pretty good. Brumfield’s ceiling is Paul Palmer, who was a lot better.
Daz did not do his homework here.
|Raysean Richardson is a pain in the neck to opposing QBs.|
Raysean Richardson, LB • Freshman • 6-1 • 210, Chesapeake, Va. • Oscar Smith HS _ High School: Four-year starter at outside linebacker for coach Rich Morgan at Oscar Smith HS … two-time All-Tidewater selection … 2010 Southeastern District Defensive Player of the Year … team went 52-4 during his prep career … finished with 300 career tackles … as a senior, had 106 tackles and eight sacks … selected Temple over Connecticut, Illinois, and Syracuse.
TFF: Here’s a great story on Raysean, who played at a high level of football in Virginia. Outside chance of being an immediate starter or at least making the two-deep.
Nate Smith, LB • Freshman • 6-0 • 220, Highland Park, N.J. • Highland Park HS • Fork Union Military Academy _ Postgraduate: Played running back and linebacker for coach John Shuman during the 2010 season at Fork Union … helped the Cadets to a 6-2 record … fellow FUMA teammates Antonio Belt and Hershey Walton are Temple signees.
High School: Four-time All-Division honoree … 2009 Player of the Year … three-time All-State, three-time All-GMC Conference and three-time All-Area honoree … 2009 first-team coaches’ All-Public League selection … four-year letterwinner for coach Rich McGlynn at Highland Park HS … team won four divisional championships and played in the 2009 state championship game … during his prep career, recorded a school record 378 tackles, including 131 as a senior … rushed for more than 3,700 yards … as a senior, rushed for 2,442 yards and 32 touchdowns … as a junior, had 92 tackles, including 14 TFL … played in the North/South All-Star game … also a three-year letterwinner in basketball … lettered in track and field … attended the 2009 Temple Football Camp.
TFF: Great running back, great linebacker. Must impress upon him the team’s dire need at running back this year. Would provide a great insurance policy should Bernard Pierce go down with an injury, a policy the Owls could not purchase last season. Potential to be immediate starter on either side of the ball. My pick for Best of the Class.
Hershey Walton, OL • Freshman • 6-4 • 320, Reading, Pa. • Reading HS • Fork Union Military Academy _
Enrolled at Temple in January … originally signed a National Letter of Intent with Temple in February 2010.
Postgraduate: Played defensive tackle for coach John Shuman during the 2010 season at Fork Union … helped the Cadets to a 6-2 record … fellow FUMA teammates Antonio Belt and Nate Smith are Temple signees.
High School: Played offensive line and defensive line for coach Preston McKnight at Reading HS … 2009 first-team All-Lancaster Lebanon League honoree on offense and defense … participated in the East-West Berks Senior Voices All-Star game and the Pennsylvania Bowl … 2009 Philadelphia Eagles Top Achiever Award recipient … high school teammate was Owl Darryl Pringle … also played basketball … participated in track and field … 2010 Berks County All-Division honoree in track … 2010 Andy Stopper Memorial Award recipient … attended the 2009 Temple Football Camp.
TFF: Could project on two-deep chart.
Khadeem Wilson, DE • Freshman • 6-3 • 240, Jersey City, N.J. • St. Anthony’s HS _ High School: Played tight end and defensive end for coach Sean Fallon at St. Anthony’s HS … attended St. Anthony’s as a freshman, sophomore, and senior … transferred to Marist in Jersey City for junior year … 2009 first-team All-North Jersey Tri-County Conference honoree on both offense and defense … as a junior, had 36 tackles and an interception return for a touchdown … attended the 2010 Temple Football Camp … also played basketball.
TFF: Redshirt candidate.
Postscript: I hope coach Daz will be able to offer SS Desmond Blue and RB Jared Williams of Bradenton Southeast to really put a nice tidy blue ribbon on this class.
Both have a chance to start immediately and Temple showed great interest in both earlier this month.
I hope the interest is still there because Blue and Williams would be good for Temple and Temple would be good for Blue and Williams.