There is no place you can feel the college spirit like Temple University.
When Raheem Blackshear flipped his commitment from Temple to Michigan State, the first thought to occur to me was wondering if he had a chance to sit down and talk with fellow Bucks County high school superstars Colin Thompson and Jake O’Donnell.
Both Thompson, who is from the same high school as Blackshear (Archbishop Wood) and O’Donnell, who is from nearby Central Bucks East, were blinded by the big-time program allure and committed to the University of Florida and the University of Miami, respectively.
If Blackshear had a chance to speak with those two, they no doubt would have told them that, while their experiences at Florida and Miami were nice, looking for those Acres of Diamonds in far-away places proved to be elusive.
They found them in their own backyards at Temple, where they both went out as champions of the American Athletic Conference where ALL (and not just some) of their family members could see them play in person.
Both have prestigious Temple degrees and already are networking with Temple alumni which set them up for a great future in the town where they will conduct their business.
Those are just a couple of sensible reasons to look for Acres of Diamond in your own backyard. Here are five others:
Temple is the sixth-largest educator of professionals in the United States and its Fox Business School is ranked among the best in the nation. More than 90 percent of the players in all of college football never make it to the pros (that includes CFL and Arena Football), so having a respected sheepskin to fall back on is a big plus and Temple has that respect.
The football Owls have won the last two AAC East titles and capped that with an overall championship this year. They have had two consecutive 10-win seasons and appear poised for a nice run of more double-digit win seasons.
Current Temple players in the NFL include Muhammad Wilkerson and Robby Anderson of the Jets, Brandon McManus of the Broncos, Tahir Whitehead of the Lions, Rod Streeter of the 49ers, Tavon Young of the Ravens, Matt Ioannidis of the Redskins and Tyler Matakevich of the Steelers. Soon to be joining them are Dion Dawkins, Nate Hairston and Haason Reddick, among others. If you make an impact in a large television market like Philadelphia, you will get a chance to make millions in the league. That league is the ultimate goal, though, made possible because the AAC is a great league with wins over Oklahoma, Louisville, Penn State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Florida State, among others, in the short span of the last two years. Temple is the champion of that great league.
All of the Owls’ games are on national television so, while they are outside the Power 5, their status as the No. 1 team in the nation’s fourth-largest media market assures plenty of TV eyeballs for every game.
Temple and Philadelphia is right in the center of a geographical area that includes 46 percent of the nation’s population, meaning a home game is within a manageable day’s drive for any recruit from Boston to the north to the North Carolina border. Family to Temple means more than geography, though. It means a strong bonding between the family of the players who are here and the family of fans who have been here. The players and coaches may come and go but the friendships remain forever.
I know I will always remain friends with the family of our last bowl-winning quarterback, Chris Coyer, and I cherish the friendships I have with the family of Adrian and Averee Robinson and so many other ex-Temple players.
That’s part of the reason why we call this Temple Football Forever.
If you have any other good reasons for recruits to pick Temple, please add them in the comments below.
Sunday: Five Reasons To Get Fired Up About Coach Collins
Tuesday: Bracing For Impact
Thursday: An Honest Evaluation of This Class