Thanks(giving) for a special group of seniors

Derek Dennis, Wayne Tribue, Pat Boyle, John Palumbo are among the seniors on the OL.

One more win and this is the greatest senior class ever.

Some highlights of this class:

  • The 2011 Owl seniors are the winningest four-year class in school history.
  • All but two members of the starting offensive line are seniors.
  • They are the first class in school history to be bowl eligible in three consecutive years.
  • They have won more conference games than any other class in school history
  • They have recorded three consecutive winning seasons and out-scored opponents in four straight seasons.

On the subjects of how quickly time passes and Thanksgiving Day remembrances, we have reached a perfect confluence of that and the Temple University football seniors.
Friday is going to be a sad day for me because I will be seeing a group of seniors wear a Temple uniform for the last time.
It is a reminder of how fleeting life is and how so many players have come and gone but the legacy of this group already is very impressive.
 So I’m officially depressed.
 What do I usually do when I’m depressed?
 Eat a gallon of non-fat yogart?
I’m going to play the lottery on Thursday night, Match 6. Since the numbers only go 1-49, I’m picking the numbers of each of the senior starters on defense (sorry, Morkeith Brown and Stephen Johnson, you are No. 85 and 53) plus two guys on offense. Adrian Robinson (43), Tahir Whitehead (2), Kee-Ayre Griffin (20), Kevin Kroboth (37), Joey Jones (26) and Rod Streater (18). If 2-18-20-26-37-43 come up, I win $900,000 and it’ll take a little sting off the next day.
Even as a near-millionaire, there’s still going to be some sadness.
This year will be even more depressing because the group includes the following names: TE Matt Balasavage (Lancaster, Pa.), DE Morris Blueford (Chesapeake, Va.), OL Pat Boyle (Towson, Md.), DE Morkeith Brown (Harrisburg, Pa.), OL Derek Dennis (Peekskill, N.Y.), DB Kee-ayre Griffin (East Orange, N.J.), LB Stephen Johnson (Norristown, Pa.), WR Joe Jones (Hollywood, Fla.), DB Kevin Kroboth (Nazareth, Pa.), OL John Palumbo (Lyndhurst, N.J.), DB Deonte Parker (Lakeland, Fla.), DE Adrian Robinson (Harrisburg, Pa.), TE Evan Rodriguez (North Bergen, N.J.), OL Jeremy Schonbrunner (Salisbury, Md.), QB Chester Stewart (Hanover, Md.), WR Rod Streater (Burlington, N.J.), OL Wayne Tribue (York, Pa.), LB Quinten White (Philadelphia, Pa.), and LB Tahir Whitehead (Newark, N.J.).
   A personal note about a couple of guys.
 I feel bad for Rod Streater because I feel he fits the profile of one of those “explosive” players who can make big plays down the field. Same with Joey Jones, who was one of Al Golden’s first-high profile recruits out of South Florida. Not getting the ball to Streats and Jones enough at Bowling Green probably cost the Owls a win there.

Adrian Robinson was a four-year starter and MVP of the Big 33 game and defensive MVP of the MAC. He set a terrific example for the Owls behind him by forgoing the pros this year and staying his senior year

Kee-Ayre Griffin was the subject of the only email Al Golden ever sent me. I congratulated Al on his first recruiting class and Al wrote back: “Mike, thanks, but we’re going after a guy right now from St. Peter’s Prep in North Jersey who would really big a big get. Wish us luck.” That guy is Kee-Ayre Griffin, who finally found his way here and was part of the building process from Day One. He was the last recruit of Golden’s first year.
    I’ll never forget the joy on the face of Morkeith Brown at the bowl selection party and how the entire team surrounded him in celebration (see upper right corner of the logo at the top of the page).
 Adrian Robinson was a four-year starter and MVP of the Big 33 game and defensive MVP of the MAC. He set a terrific example for the Owls behind him by forgoing the pros this year and staying his senior year. The pros will always been there and Robinson enhanced his draft status by staying. You only have four years in college. Cherish them and use all four of them.
Derek “Bone-Crusher” Dennis was a stalwart on the second-best offensive line I’ve ever seen at Temple and has completely erased the memory of him being the only Temple player in history to tackle another Temple player in the open field (at Army, 2008). Well, maybe not completely because it is a pretty funny memory (and a heckuva tackle of Adam DiMichele, by the way).

I’m going to miss them all, whether they make me a millionaire or not on Thanksgiving.

A special message from Hooter:

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12 thoughts on “Thanks(giving) for a special group of seniors

  1. here here.Last year's senior day was depressing as hell because it was my last home game as a student. This year, and i suspect every senior day from now on, senior day well remind me of how old im getting. Id like to second your sentiments on our leaving WR's and TE's. They epitomize what being an Temple Tuff is all about for me: The took one for the team. They never complained and seemed to almost never take plays off even though they werent getting the ball and their chances to shine.

  2. but the great thing about being a person who lives and dies with college sports is that after football we get the heart of the basketball season, then we just gotta keep breathing for five more months and life starts anew for us in a way most people will never understand… like getting to fall in love every year like clock work….

  3. BYU broke off negotiations with Big East! That means its just us, ECU and Nova for that last slot, right?

  4. I can’t say I know them as well as you do, but from what I can see they win and loose with class! Thats great to see. They seem like a good bunch of guys and I wish them all the best in whatever the future brings.Ahhhh, the Big East drama continues. San Diego State is now the next school in line to fill the spot. That top notch institution located just off of I-95, which should make for some interesting road trips. I’ve been vocal on this blog about my stance on TU and its branding its sports programs and national exposure, as much as I wish it wasn’t the case I think the Big East is out of the picture for TU I’m afraid. I hear if SDSU says no they will go further west to Hawaii for a BE invite. The backup plan for that if they say no is the University of Beijing coming to the Big East. (Just kidding about Hawaii and Beijing)Last night while sitting in standstill traffic I was listening to College Sports Nation on Sirus and they had the AP reporter who broke the BYU ending talks with the Big East story and he was criticizing the BE for not “multi tasking”, for not building a plan B while negotiating with BYU, for not getting the other 6 teams locked in with a promise to do the right thing. It’s definitely still a mess. He did mention a great point, he said that there have been discussions about the idea of college football going away from AG status for ALL conferences. That way the bowls are open to negotiations with whomever they like to create the best match up and best pay days. This was a suggestion to stop the crazy conference realignment musical chairs. It’s a 2 edged sword because levels the playing field for all conferences, but then you run the potential of getting 3 or even 4 or more teams from a conference like the SEC getting into the major bowls. You can argue ACC or C-USA, it doesn’t matter the clock is ticking. Temple sports needs to get around the teams and programs with the national exposure that are on a level they aspire to. Sell hard the Philadelphia TV market, Lincoln Financial Field, and the financial commitments to Football and Basketball. Sell the steps it’s taken, and where the programs are going! That’s a benefit to any conference and shouldn’t be sold short, especially to a conference that doesn’t already have a Philadelphia presence.

  5. I think we should tell the BE to pound sand and go to CUSA. I'm tired of being their second backup to their third backup.

  6. I agree, I am really tired of all the Travel Channel Conference, oops Big East, drama. Hey if we're patient maybe Temple Tokyo will get an invite. To be honest I think there is as much a chance that BE football implodes as for expansion. At this point I think CUSA offers better bowl prospects, both more well known like the Liberty Bowl and better payouts on average then the MAC tie-ins plus stronger teams. While I appreciate the opportunity the MAC provided we need to set our goals higher then beating Ohio to get to Detroit in December. Our increase in attendance and TV should be attractive to other conferences. The one issue I see is that Temple is more attractive if bball comes along as well, in which case with Memphis I don't see CUSA as too much of a drop off from the A10 in bball.

  7. as far as basketball goes, though, it is nothing more than an amusing diversion between now and the 88-0 win over Villanova in next year's opener (and hopefully the final athletic event ever conducted between the two schools).I'll get crazed over basketball for the Duke and Villanova games and the A10 and NCAA tourneys, but nothing like the frenzy I whip myself into over a regular-season football game.I just find the Temple football story much more compelling than its basketball one.

  8. Unfortunately, what are the odds of Temple responding that way if the BE cam calling. I'm with you though especially if the attitude on the lala land that is the BE bbs is shared even a little bit by BE administrators. I mean it's like a bunch of folks playing fantasy football. "Well if so and so joins we get this tv market or this recruiting base and we can fill with this team". Here is a typical example:RE: Gang, SDSU over Temple? Temple hasn't been mentioned for weeks. They'd only be invited as filler if we expand to 14 after a team like BYU decides they want in. That conference can fold by 2013 and people will still be talking about this national superpower BE conference…..unbelievable.BTW, saw on 3 bowls have expressed interest in Temple, the ones mentioned here and that Liberty Bowl reps may be at the game Friday.

  9. the number of seniors leaving the program this year far exceeds the number of available scholarships for next year. how did that happen? ….., we are in the MAC and should start recruiting in Ohio while we still have some relevancy to Ohio HS kids. how many years have we been in the MAC? how many Ohio kids do we have on our team? Ohio produces more quality football kids than New Jersey, Maryland, and Connecticut combined

  10. I’m all for telling the Big East about the salt, and the pounding of it! The Temple Tokyo line is priceless, that’s good stuff! I’m a basketball guy at heart; I think C-USA is a good spot for the football team only. All the other sports will gain nothing from joining with the exception of increased travel expenses, and for the Basketball program it would be a step down. Also, I’m still holding out hope for an ACC tap on the shoulder, I’ve got to believe they would love the Philadelphia market. Until that happens football in C-USA is fine I guess, it’s a step up from the MAC, but with the teams leaving for the Big East what’s the C-USA going to look like? I’m not being cocky, but if TU football joined tomorrow they would be the class of the conference. Without UCF (2 – 5 in CUSA and 4 – 7 overall), Houston (7 – 0, 11 – 0), and SMU (4 – 3, 6 – 5) all that’s left with a winning record overall is Tulsa at (7 – 0, 8 – 3). With those 3 gone what teams are left with even a recognizable brand to the average fan? ECU maybe, but that’s it. There are a lot of so so teams in that conference. Southern Miss (5 – 2, 9 – 2) is by far the class of what’s left, will they put 30,000 in the Linc? Marshall (4 – 3, 5 – 6), UAB (3 – 5, 3 – 8), Memphis (1 – 6, 2 – 9), Rice (3 – 4, 4 – 7)UTEP (2 – 5, 5 – 6), and Tulane (1 – 7, 2 – 10). Yes they have 6 bowl affiliation spots, but they at this point only have 4 teams eligible with SMU the 4th at 6 – 5, and the 3 teams fighting for the last 2 spots are 5 – 6. With programs like that how much longer will they have 6 bowl tie in spots?As I said, I think CUSA is a step up, but to me a small one. The TU football program has worked hard to put itself in a position for better than that.

  11. If Temple gets locked out of the Big East infavor of SDSU, a pox upon all their houses

  12. Good info on CUSA basketball thanks, not as familiar with their programs. An ACC bid for Temple would just kill Nova…given that ESPN supposedly had a hand in the move of Pitt and Syracuse it could certainly help that TU gets good ratings.

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