The Temple recruits so far ….

Jihaad Pretlow’s junior year highlights at Blair Academy.

It’s been a year and two months since I’ve last walked inside the Edberg-Olson Football Complex, now a $17 million football practice facility on the main campus of Temple University.
I was impressed by a lot of things, but one sign caught my fancy:
“What you do outside of here, you do to everyone inside of here.”
Gosh, even though that’s an Al Golden sign, I hope that’s still hanging prominently and they make everyone jump up and touch it on the way out, even the 5-5 Matt Brown (I know he’s got the vertical leap to do it).
Judging by the first recruits of Steve Addazio’s 2013 class, there is something special happening at Temple University and I hope some alleged knuckleheaded behavior that we’ve heard about in recent weeks doesn’t ruin it for everybody inside.

The early recruiting list, according to

We won’t mention any names now because these are just two kids out of 105 and no one has been proven guilty yet.
Just suffice it to say, if you are a Temple football player, look at that sign and take it to heart. For four years, keep your nose clean, listen to your coaches and generally don’t be a pain in the ass.
You will be rewarded once you graduate.
Just ask Muhammad “Highly Praised” Wilkerson or Bernard “The Franchise” Pierce or Rod Streater, among others. They will lead you down the right path.
Ironically, the Golden Rule is to do under others as you would have done unto you. That’s the regular Golden Rule, not the Al Golden Rule.

I like the way lock-down corner Anthony Robey thinks.

With that in mind, we hope the new Temple football players in the Class of 2013 are listening to this kind of advice because Steve Addazio is in the process of building a formidable football power in Philadelphia.
I wouldn’t get caught up in the star system because, even though cousins Jihaad Pretlow and P.J. Walker are rated only two stars now, they have five-star talent in my mind. Take a look at the Pretlow video above. If that’s not the re-incarnation of Bernard Pierce or Paul Palmer, I don’t know what is. Pretlow makes fast cornerbacks look like linemen. Walker is a better version of Juice Granger and Juice Granger is very, very good right now.
Nik D’Avanzo and Tyler Haddock have big-time pass-rushing ability. Offensive lineman Matt Barone has “Temple TUFF” stamped on his farhead, figuratively at least.
I always thought there were two keys to winning at any level of football:
1) Protect your quarterback;
2) Put the other quarterback on his ass.
Addazio seems to be building his program with those two tenants in mind.
He’s going for mobile quarterbacks who, if the protection breaks down, can make defenses pay with their feet.
He’s also going for fast linemen who can chase down those quarterbacks, preferably far behind the line of scrimmage.
Stir in a spread offense and a Chuck Heater defense, kickers like Brandon McManus and Jim Cooper Jr., return men like Jalen Fitzpatrick and Khalif Herbin, mix, and you have a championship cake baking, with a Cherry on top of White icing.
Let’s go eat, as Hunter Pence might say.

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15 thoughts on “The Temple recruits so far ….

  1. Mike, good assessment as usual. While the star systems are highly flawed and frequently provided by scouts with limited perspective on specific players it at least provides a consistent baseline across years and programs. The Owls are currently sitting on at least one three star recruit and some very solid two star players. Not bad. A better metric, which is created by people with more skin in the game and thus more knowledge of these kids abilities and potentials, is the caliber of the other schools offering scholarships to these recruits. This measure speaks well to this class and Daz's performance. We've gotten two kids with offers from BCS programs and a kicker who won a national kick/punt competition in Texas. We've begun the important process of building momentum in this area but still need to get depth of talent to compete consistently at a BCS level. I think the owls can get by with slightly less talent than some of their competition and still post winning seasons due to the strength of their coaching staff. However, we run the very real risk of losing Daz or Heater if our success continues and at that point will need talent to carry the day.

  2. I've got the "distinct" impression from talking to Daz in person last Tuesday night that he "gets" Temple the way Harry Litwack, John Chaney, Wayne Hardin, Bruce Arians and Fran Dunphy get Temple. Not one of those guys saw Temple as a steppingstone to other jobs, especially Arians who turned down a head coaching job at his alma mater, Virginia Tech, because "I couldn't leave my Temple kids." I think Daz feels the same way. He sees Temple as a destination, not a steppingstone. If he's as successful as Hardin and Litwack and Chaney and Dunphy, I will be a very, very happy man. If he does as much with his resources as Arians did with his, I would be doubly happier. Arians had nothing and he turned it into two 6-5 seasons against a top 10 schedule. Comparitively, Daz has everything. I think he will exceed those baseline Arians' numbers by quite a bit.

  3. totally agree with dayowl87…Temple success in the next two or three years will be determined by the number of three and four star recruits in Temple Town…never understood why we didn't recruit in the football rich state of Ohio when we were in the MAC…. Florida is the key to any future success. PA, NJ, Conn, MD and NY combined can't match the talent coming out of FLA every year. If DAZ 'gets it' then he will focus his recruiting efforts outside of PA and NJ… far the results are not promising.

  4. Too early to tell if it's promising or not promising. Definitely promising that Barone de-committed from UConn to go to Temple. Definitely promising that Cooper was ranked the No. 1 placekicker in the country at a five-star Texas camp. Promising that Jihaad and P.J. left Rutgers' offers on the table. Not promising that we don't have one commit that Penn State wanted, despite the fact that Penn State is sure to receive "institutional control" sanctions that could result in loss of scholarships, bowls or maybe both.Promising that we are only seven schollies into 25 and the best de-commits might be yet to come from conferences like the Big 10.

  5. Mike, it seems Penn State is having a huge recruiting year despite their current situation. I saw where theyve landed another top tier lineman from western PA. Daz is going to have his work cut out for him in winning some of these in-state battles for talent but the reality is he's going to need some of these guts to compete at the BCS level. Are you aware of any highly rated lineman On which Daz might have an inside recruiting track? Also, I'm curious as to how his camps are faring from an attendance perspective. These events seem to certainly influence recruiting and I'm wondering if he's getting attendance from BCS caliber kids.

  6. Penn State is having a huge recruiting year NOW. Once the bad press starts coming (like a Bob Ford column on the front page of the Inky Sunday), I expect a not small, not large (moderate) number of de-commits of four- and five-star athletes. If any of those kids want to stay close to home and play BCS football and beat Notre Dame, Temple gives them that option.Camp numbers are at an all-time high, I was told (don't know what the high was, though).

  7. Bob Ford, by the way, suggested that the penalties could still be coming for Penn State football.

  8. ….and on that note the Owls just announced the commitment of Buddy Brown a stud linebacker with three star rating and offers from everybody from Arizona and Rutgers to PSU. Keep the faith in Daz.

  9. Buddy Brown is a flat-out superstar. Forget the three stars. Look at the teams and conferences that offered him, the Big 10, Big East, SEC, ACC, etc. He's the biggest LB recruit we've had since Adrian Robinson and Arob was only MAC defensive player of the year. You want promising? This is promising. Keep it up, Daz.

  10. I beleive the NCAA will stay out of the PSU mess. They are moral issues and not nec. recruiting or on/off the field problems by players (tats, $, etc. ) but we shall see.Buddy is a huge get for TU, ranked in top 10 in state of NJ and had many offers from some great programs. Love that DAZ is going hard on the local talent and also mixing in players from other areas. The staff is keeping TU in the mix with many players that would not have been the case before. – cheers-

  11. There are arguments both ways in the Penn State case. If the athletic director brushes Sandusky under the rug, how is that not institutional control?As far as Buddy, this is just what we need going forward. Guys ranked in the top 25 in their position in the country ocming to Temple and then urging other blue-chip recruits to talk a hard look at Temple.Once they get a one-on-one with Daz, their socks will be knocked off.

  12. When the NCAA speaks of "lack of institutional control," it's in the context of breaking NCAA rules, which are in place (generally) to ensure fairness in athletics \

  13. Ant,If you read the NCAA's definition of "Loss of Institutional Control", there is a Penn State logo right next to it. I'm not trying to be funny, but if the NCAA wants to shut down programs for kids getting free drinks, tattoos & boat rides, how can they ignore the the continuing mess at PSU!

  14. players -getting free drinks, tattoos & boat rides,– all what has been seen to help the team or to help recruit, to benefit the programs. This I feel is more of a moral issue and has never been dealt with by the NCAA esp when no players have been involved or that it did not benefit the team on the field or with recruits. Not sure if that is clear or not- but an interesting convo to say the least. thanks Temple rugby….

  15. players -getting free drinks, tattoos & boat rides,– all what has been seen to help the team or to help recruit, to benefit the programs. This I feel is more of a moral issue and has never been dealt with by the NCAA esp when no players have been involved or that it did not benefit the team on the field or with recruits. Not sure if that is clear or not- but an interesting convo to say the least. thanks Temple rugby….

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