Ronald Reagan once helped win The Cold War with a simple phrase: “Trust, but verify.” When it comes to college football recruiting, that’s as good a mantra for any fan base to follow.
It looks like Matt Rhule’s first couple of classes were the result of some pretty solid legwork, based on the fact that many of his Temple recruits were also offered by Power 5 schools. That is not so much the case this season so far.
So far, at least for the “trust but verify” crowd, the favorite recruit of the Temple football class of 2016 has to be Darian Bryant. The offensive lineman out of Chestnut Hill Academy committed to the Owls early. He holds a unique distinction among the several early Temple commits. He turned down a Pitt offer.
I’m sure the rest of the guys are nice guys and good players, but it is comforting to know that another big-time staff saw in Bryant what Temple’s staff saw in him.
Al Golden build a solid MAC team with a simple recruiting formula: Trust the film, but also reach up and get a few guys who were wanted by the Power 5 schools. The first player he brought to Temple who fit that later criteria was a defensive back named Kee-Ayre Griffin, whose interception against Penn State would have won the 2011 game had not Mike Gerardi—unrecruited by anyone else—returned the favor with an interception of his own.
Golden also got big Mo Wilkerson, who was a two-star recruit, but for every Wilkerson he got an Adrian Robinson, who also turned down a Pitt offer.
Golden, who could sell ice cream to the Eskimos, also made some serious mistakes tied to offers made at his camp. He was saw a workout warrior, Vaughn Charlton, complete 21-straight passes in a 7-on-7 drill and offered him a scholarship on the spot. Several Southern Chester County League head coaches, who saw Charlton play against a rush, said, “say whaaaat?” when they heard Charlton got the offer. In that case, the SCCL coaches were right and Golden was wrong. Adam DiMichele, nowhere near as good in 7-on-7 as Charlton, but way better against the rush, was a much better investment of a scholarship.
Golden learned to be much more prudent in offering camp scholarships after that lesson.
Got to have a good mix of both in order to beat the big schools. Hopefully, the Owls will pick up a few Adrian Robinson and Kee-Ayre Griffins along with these (err, also hopefully) Mo Wilkersons:
|Kimere Brown||WR/DB||5-11, 166||None|
|Dan Archibong||DE||6-5, 245||Army, Villanova, UConn, Delaware, UMass, Stony Brook, Western Michigan|
|Darian Bryant||OL||6-6, 295||UConn, ODU, UMass, Pitt, Towson, UConn|
|Kareem Gaulden||DB||6-0, 187||Monmouth|
|D’Andre Dill||DT||6-3, 295||None|
|Branden Mack||ATH||6-5, 190||Delaware State|