Recruiting Overview: Brace Yourself



When it comes to Temple recruiting, I’m from Missouri.

Show me.

Trust the film is one way to put it, but  numbers and rave reviews in the newspapers is verification.

We’ll always have Montel Aaron, the Player of the Year in the Sacramento area.

Aaron, a known quantity, figures to be the jewel of the 2016 class.

The others, we’re going to have to trust the film because there is not a whole lot in terms of the written word to go on but the key question is whether Houston seems to have out-recruited the Owls.

Unless you are Stevie Wonder, the answer has to be yes.


Here’s the deal with Temple recruiting: In all of those years where Temple was No. 1 in the MAC under Al Golden, the theme on recruiting night was that Temple was No. 1 in the MAC. When Temple is not No. 1 in the AAC on the first Wednesday night in February, the theme will be “trust the film.”

You can book it, but it seems to me that you can’t sell it both ways.

John Chaney would say always go  by the known. It was a good philosophy about both  basketball and football recruiting. Coach always knew when he had Rick Brunson, Eddie Jones and Aaron McKie to allow one of those three guys to shoot the ball. If anyone else shot it, he’d call time out and ream out the guy.

Here’s what we do know: Houston, a team that Temple should be on par with, is out-recruiting Temple by a large margin.  Temple had 100 big-time recruits in for the Notre Dame game and failed to land a single one after that night was over.


Not good. That was the night to make hay while the ABC-TV lights shone.

Maybe if Will Hayes had knocked down that pass, we would be talking about adding a dozen big-time recruits that night. Now we’re talking about zero.

To me, this was an important class not for next year but for two years down the road. Temple could (should) win as many as 11 games next year, but will slip below six in two years if this is not a dynamite class. I’m not seeing the TNT in this class.

One month until signing day and Temple has 17 recruits signed and the best is a quarterback from California. At least we have him.  Maybe Rhule and the staff will shock us all in the final eight, get Anthony Russo to de-commit and add seven more four-stars who everyone sees the film and trusts it. That’s what I’m hoping for, but not holding my breath about.

The final eight will tell the tale. There is a lot of work to do in the next 30 days.

Fortunately, Missouri won’t be clogging up the phone lines.

Tomorrow: Why Philadelphia Should Love Matt Rhule

Saturday: A Functional Temple Stadium


61 thoughts on “Recruiting Overview: Brace Yourself

  1. perfect irony, Ohio State took one of our top recruits this year and Houston is stealing kids from Ohio State

    the perception gap between Houston and Temple is enormous.., kids see this G5 school on the same level as the P5 powers…., Herman has them drinking the kool-aide down there and we are left with trust #The Process because we don’t think like everybody else…, 2016 is the year of validation for #The Process.., will it work out? will we do one of the big three, win our conference championship, win a bowl game, finish in the Top 25?

    Matt Rhule ‏@CoachMattRhule 11 Dec 2015
    How many stars did @mowilkerson and @BPierce_30 & @44_Matakevich have? We don’t think like everybody else. Has it worked out? #TheProcess

    Kraft said the goal is to win the AAC conference and then the National Championship.., think the only person who read that was Herman

    • Ouch. The process didn’t work much on the offensive side of the ball against Houston and Toledo. Sometimes, the process needs an adjustment.

      • That was coaching as you said earlier post, if we had Locksley as OC I believe we could have beating Houston. Also, don’t forget Houston resides in the state that produces 3 and over star recruits like Philly produces Cheese Steaks. I am an Owl in SEC country, ATL, and 3 stars from this area are like 4 stars up North. The Key has to be a great recruiter, Locksley fills that bill, if we could get him.

      • Coaching indeed: 3d and 3 at the Houston 38 with 7:18 left and we’re calling bombs into the end zone when the Houston corner is giving Robby a 10-yard cushion. That has to be one of the worst calls in the history of Temple football. They were giving him a 10-yard cushion because they could better defend him if he did a slant at the goal line and we play right into their hands. Good coaching is recognizing that, pitch and catch, pick up the three, move sticks, and away we go. Us, we force ourselves into a 4th and 3 and then they play up on the receiver. So glad Mr. Haney is gone to Hooterville, but that’s ultimately Matt Rhule’s responsibility to fix it and he never did.

  2. MR’s tweet about Muhammad Wilkerson and Bernard Pierce bothers me for a number of reasons.

    Either he thinks he can out scout a ubiquitous college system or is deflecting the fact that Temple is consistently out recruited under his regime and is using Pierce and Wilkerson as shields. Time will tell if he can out scout the system, but I have my doubts on that. The fact we can’t recruit in our own back yard is troubling.

    Still, the current recruitment report is sad considering how much Temple has accomplished. We’re only 1-2 4*’s and a couple more 3*’s away from doing better than Houston did this year.

    • He thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room. He’s not. There’s a reason all of these guys have all the stars. They are usually the best players. Not always, usually. If Temple was ever going to capitilize on two 70K home crowds, plus national TV for ND and Penn State, playing on ABC in the AAC championship game, this would have been the year to bring some of that talent into the fold. Looks like we whiffed and that’s the most disappointing thing. Jeff Lurie is probably going to do the same thing. He always acts like he’s the smartest guy in the room in bringing in a qb coach nobody ever heard of (Andy Reid) and a read-option offense from college that the NFL wouldn’t be able to stop (Chipster) and now he’ll probably bring in that kid from Chicago to show everybody how smart he is. there’s a (still) young Super Bowl coach out there (Sean Payton). Go get him. Football isn’t rocket science. Go get the best players and best coaches and you usually win.

  3. Landing the right OC may have more to do with future success than having more 3-4 star recruits on the roster. And as far as looking ahead to a national championship? – that’s just comical. I’ll take 7-10 wins and bowl games on a regular basis and be satisfied. If Houston with the season they had, wasn’t even considered for the playoff, how will Temple get to a national championship? Sorry, but I’m big on being realistic.

    • “Our goal obviously is to win The American conference championship, but our eventual goal is to win the national championship,” Deputy Director of Athletics Pat Kraft said. “Now that can take time, but the way that you have a successful department is when everybody is winning.”

      “You want everybody to be nationally ranked and then put yourself in a position to win a national championship,” he added. “As you start to get those national championship trophies, alumni brag on that, above and beyond their football and basketball teams.”

      Consider this, Houston beats Oklahoma next year in the opener, they run the table and beat a nationally ranked Louisville team at home, they win their conference by beating a nationally ranked undefeated Temple team, and finish 13-0.., if the AAC is as strong next year as it was this year Houston will be a playoff team…, they will have beaten P5 powers FSU and Oklahoma to get there

      • unless we can start bringing in a line that would be able to start 3 true freshmen in the aac title game and perform well (I didn’t see 10 sacks against Ward), their process is proving to be better than our process. Ten wins was nice; a 3-4 finish should be setting off all sorts of alarms.

    • winning the aac should be realistic. there is no reason that Houston, a CUSA school, be separating itself from Temple like it has now. 24-13 might be the closest we get to them unless we can get a dynamic recruiter in here.

  4. I’m perplexed by the fact that the Owls success and the excitement this season generated has not translated into a better recruiting class. The powers at be better be worried as well given the number of highly ranked D-1 players going somewhere else. Has TU burned some bridges with area coaches or is it something else? Hardin was very successful in the Philly area despite having obsolete facilities and a campus that was truly more dangerous and decrepit than what currently exists. Hard to believe that not one of the hundred recruits at the ND game decided to come to TU. Could it be the lousy schedule? No PSU after this year and ND a year later and that’s it. Kids likely don’t find Army, Umass, Charlotte, or Villanova all that exciting. That gets back to trading out the Stony Brook game. No kid is saying I can’t wait to play Stony Brook.

    • Great questions, for all of the atmosphere and publicity of the ND game it seems like we might as well have played Stony Brook for the lack of recruiting impact that didn’t result. Even with the teams you list, Temple is still getting better tv coverage than in the past and the AAC has a whole generated some good buzz this year. Is it possible Addazio somehow burned some local bridges while he was here? I know Rhule has good relations with some of the high schools in my area of Bucks

  5. How is tyler matakevich left out of an article like this? What does recruiting rankings even mean? many of 5 star recruits don’t last in the NFL. Taking draft rankings seriously is almost as laughable as taking preseason rankings seriously.

    • err, because Tyler is leaving, not coming. Just because we hit on Tyler doesn’t mean we’re going to hit on everybody. When Arob came here, he was an established star who would later be MVP of the Big 33 game. We need to get those type of kids here, too.

    • Matt, have you read what KG posted re national champions and their recruiting rankings or did you just want to make an irrelevant comment that had nothing to do with Mike’s post? Get the best players and you have a better chance of winning. Besides Tyler was a highly recruited player until he got hurt and was considered a risk. This is what he said in a CBS interview:

      Q: When did you start playing football and how did you wind up at Temple?
      A: I started playing football when I was 8 for Stratford pop warner and then I went to Catholic school at St. Joseph’s and after high school I went to prep school at Milford Academy. I broke my foot before my senior year in high school so that’s why I went to Milford. Coach (Matt) Rhule found me up there.

      Q: Do you think the injury caused you to go under-recruited?
      A: Probably. I guess it’s something that’s caused me to always play with a chip on my shoulder. I actually received more recruitment for baseball, but I definitely think the injury had an effect.

      Finally, unless they grab some really good kids before signing day this will be one of the weaker classes in many years.

      • And this is from a Mike Narducci interview, which shows that he was not a low ranked prospect in high school:

        Tyler Matakevich, a tough guy for sure, was in tears. It was just before his senior year at St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, Conn., and Matakevich, on a team coming off a state championship and predicted to win another, learned he had a broken foot.

        So he broke the news to coach Joe Della Vecchia before breaking down.

        “He was devastated,” Della Vecchia said. “He wasn’t crying for himself, he was crying because he felt he let the team down. Can you imagine that?”

        In terms of recruitment, he became a forgotten figure.

        “He went from being in the top three players in the state to having the phone stop ringing,” said his father, Dave Matakevich, who is the spitting image of his son. “Just about everybody stopped calling and for a child that age, that is hard to comprehend.”

      • Tyler was highly recruited but still a 2 star? that doesn’t even make sense.

        Keep up the 94.1 mentality. HATE, HATE, HATE.

      • there is no hate on this website. the hate is in your perception. I love Matt. I just would like to see Temple as a player for these guys other aac teams seem to routinely get and some of the Stepford fans of his not falling back on the crutch of “well, because Tyler was good, he can do no wrong.”

      • Sorry is Hate to strong of a word for you.

        How about overly critical? the recruitment class isn’t even finalized and you all are acting as if the sky is falling. Acting like we can’t make it without some 4 star recruit.

  6. Glenn Thomas is from TX, maybe he could help pull in some 3/4 star recruits.

    • to be a great recruiter, got to have a gregarious recruiter personality. Al Golden had it. Matt Rhule has it. Terry Smith has it. Fran Brown has it. Mike Locksley has it. Even James Franklin has it. Thomas, from all I’ve heard, is a little more introverted than those guys.

  7. So we just win 10 games with a roster loaded with 2 star recruits. We have a roster with excellent replacements for the graduating seniors bcuz Rhule has recruited so well the past several years but the theme on this site is always negative. is their ever any positivity on this site? this was Temple season basically on this site.

    We gonna start off 0-2.
    We gonna go 6-6
    We not gonna make a bowl game
    Rhule is terrible.
    We struggle against Umass
    Satterfield is an idiot.
    Fire the RB coach.
    Put in Nutile.
    We lost to SFU, we gonna lose the rest of our games.
    Rhule future distracted the team.
    Satterfield is still an idiot.
    were doomed to Houston for the next 20 years.
    our recruiting sucks.

    and that was after a 10-4 season. imagine if it was a 4-10 season.

    and about Matakevich recruitment. Tyler was a 2 star recruit who had no offers after his injury. to say he was this top rated recruit b4 the injury is nonsense. if he was a 5 star recruit he would had still had many offers after his injury. as much as folks on here hate to acknowledge, Coach Rhule watched Tyler film and convinced Addazio to sign him.

    and for all the hoopla about Houston recruiting, we have too remember it’s an inexact science. we really don’t know how these guys will turn out for another 2/3 years. and I agree that Hermann has done a good job but too try to push that Rhule has been a slouch in recruiting is just hating at this point.

    Kip Patton – 2 star recruit
    Ventell Bryant – 2 star recruit
    Dion Dawkins – 2 star recruit
    Sean Chandler – 3 star recruit
    Michael Dodge – 3 star recruit
    Devon Randall – 3 star recruit
    Freddie Booth Lloyd – 3 star recruit
    PJ Walker – 2 star recruit
    Jahad Thomas – 2 star recruit
    Sharif Finch – 2 star recruit

    All Rhule recruits!

    not 2 mention a ton of redshirts ready 2 contribute next season. and although i love the Aaron kid from Ca, don’t sleep on the Bryant kid. he’s huge. Benny Walls and Keyvon Bruton. also Elom Lumor. we still need 2 sign some big DL.

    with so much negativity on this site, I guess I will be the knight of shining positivity!

    • all good football players, do you think anyone on that list will be an All-American? How many first and second team All-Americans on the playoff teams this year?

      70% of the players on that list won’t even make all conference

      • how many UH players made the All american again? better yet how many G5 teams were represented in the 1st team all american this year?

    • Huge difference in thought and philosophy, we are recruiting two and three stars, red-shirting 90% of them in hopes they will grow up to become starters….., the consistently good programs get their fair share of four and five stars in hopes they become All-Americans and Heisman trophy candidates

      The stated aspirations articulated by Kraft are conference and national championships…, #The Trust Me Process with two star red-shirts won’t get us there

      Wilkerson, Pierce and Matekevich are outliers

    • No one said any of those things. It was all stated as possibilities and unless you and the other idiots on the other site are delusional no one there didn’t think it was reasonably plausible that the team could start 0-2 and could have a disastrous end of the season after SFU, which they sort of did by going 3-4. And recruiting is not an inexact endeavor; the more stars the better chance the player will excel. Ask any coach if he’d rather have 2 star kids and develop them or four star kids?

      • Rather have 3-4 star kids and develop them into 4-5 stars, if possible. If Temple is the great school Rhule keeps saying it is on the radio, shouldn’t be too hard to attract the 3-4s as Temple is smack dab in the geographic middle of the largest population base of any school in the AAC. Houston is getting transfers from A&M to be all-conference QB after its all-conference QB leaves. Where is our all-conference QB after P.J.? Does anyone think Montel will be all-conference as a redshirt freshman? No one here is saying Rhule sucks. We are saying after a year like this we should be bringing in a lot of top recruits that everyone in the aac wants.

      • Actually John, all those things were said on this site. and i take offense to being called an idiot. we can have a debate without all the childish name calling, sir. bcuz at the end of the day, we both want success for the Temple program. correct? and also u do remember that Temple currently has 5 4-star player son their roster.

  8. A few good take always from the article below: don’t spend a lot of time looking in the rear view mirror (I think Temple spends too much time gloating over a 10 win season, also it cost them a bowl win); and two,
    don’t hire all your friends to fill the staff

    The best thing about this site is how we stay in the present and stay focused on the best way to accomplish the goals, and how best to accomplish those goals

  9. evidently, he hates cataldi and listens to him and is not all enamored with this site and reads it. Makes sense to me. 🙂

  10. Matt, he was two star after the injury but not before. And we all could do without anything you write because none of it is interesting, relevant, or insightful.

  11. just a few more points to some comments above….

    Monte Aaaron or Frank Nutile will be able to take over after PJ leaves.

    Temple currently has 4 4-star recruits on their roster (Ruff, Thompson, Ali, A. Davis)

    this site makes it seem like we have no 4 star talent on board.

    Dion Dawkins, Sean Chandler are NFL prospects. next year Kareem Ali, Ventell Bryant, Kip Patton, & Anthony Davis will join them.

  12. Depends on what your definition of a consistently good program is. Over the past 10 seasons Houston has won 88 lost 44. Two 13 win seasons, two 10 win seasons, 8 bowl appearances with a 4-4 bowl record and ranked in the top 25 at some point in the season 4 times. With 4 different HCs (not counting 1 or 2 game interim coaches) Seems pretty good to me.

    During the same time frame Temple 58-65, 3 bowl appearances with a 1-2 bowl record and 3 HCs

    • Thanks for the info. i haven’t followed Houston that closely. didn’t know they had that much success. they were in Conference USA right?

      • That’s correct, they joined CUSA in 1995 after the demise of the old South West Conference which they were members of from 1976 to 1995 during which they were conference champion or co-champion 4 times and made 7 bowl appearances (3-4) and 6 final Top 20 rankings. Prior to the SWC, Houston was a major independent with 6 final Top 20 rankings and 5 bowl appearances. So while maybe not a year in and year out power Houston has had a number of 4, 5 and 6 year stretches where they have been ranked in the Top 20 and in bowls, some major like the Cotton Bowl (4x) and Peach Bowl. Plus their 88 wins over the past 10 years rank Houston #20 out of all FBS teams. Certainly the program I think that Temple should be trying to at least match in the AAC.

  13. John, whats is this “Pravda” thing u been talking about? i asked that question a few articles ago. i do have a pair of Prada shoes. is that the same thing?

    • Pravda is a reference to the Soviet Union’s official newspaper. It was called “Pravda.” Pravda spouted the pro-communist b.s and vilified America.

      Kind of like the Philadelphia Eagles and their in-house organ that is run by Dave Spadaro. Nothing critical is allowed to be spoken. = Pravda. Owlscoop does not allow freedom of expression, only praise for the powers that be.

      • Plus I believe the editor over there is a Temple employee, so his objectivity is probably limited

      • Never have read a single word critical of anything MR has done by the 2 editors there. When I ask for links, no one can supply them and I know exactly why … they do not exist. Is it possible that MR has done nothing worth criticism in 3 years? No. Have I praised MR? Plenty of times and I can provide links.

  14. Delaware’s Gatorade player of the Year, Colby Reeder, just gave a verbal to U of D Blue Hens. Name sound familiar? His pop played RB for Hens in the early to mid 80’s and spent a few years in the NFL (Steelers and Raiders). His older brother starts at OLB for the Nits.

    I don’t think his name was on any Owl lists, yet rumor has it that Illinois and a few other lower BIG teams want him.

    I’d love to see him in Cherry and White.

  15. It has been awfully quite during the dead period, what are the chances of Temple pulling off a few surprises on signing day?

    Are we still looking for an OC, or has MR settled on Thomas?

  16. Temple is in the running for a few good recruits. i think the Valentine kid is down to Auburn or Temple. Rhule always pulls off a few surprises on signing day. Simmons in 2014. Freddie Booth Lloyd in 2013.

    • Getting very anxious…, several teams have secured commits during the dead period.., and Florida Atlantic has moved ahead of Temple in recruiting on some sites.., hard to buy in on the argument that stars don’t matter when everyone uses them..,

      Recruiting stars is like the pro draft with the first rounders being the five stars, second round fours stars.., we are not picking until the third round year

      Ruff is running with the 2s and 3s, Thompson was a gift, and the jury is out on Ali and AD..,

      We need more picks in the first and second rounds

  17. Tyler Matekevich was under the Addazio era…, who was the actual individual recruiter? Did MR recruit TM or was it someone else on the staff at that time?

  18. yes, matt went up there and said the kid can play and Addazio said something to the effect that if you guys (staff) want to do it, offer him. The Parkland QB just de-committed from BC and he’s a Greg Ward clone. Might be worth a look.

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