Cincinnati has Tavion Thomas, Temple has Travon King.
While no one really knows if either one will make an impact with their respective schools, the takeaway from National Signing Day on Wednesday was that Temple went for length and speed and character and Cincinnati reached for the stars.
You can talk about length,
speed and character until
you are blue in the face,
what matters most is wins
on Saturdays. That’s really
all that matters
Thomas, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound running back from Dunbar in Dayton, picked his nearby hometown squad after decommiting from Oklahoma. His final three were Cincinnati, Tennessee and Ohio State.
File that name away because what Cincinnati and the other AAC schools do is important in comparison to what Temple does. Cincinnati had the No. 1 recruiting class as ranked by the website 247.com (recently merged with Scout.com) and while the same service ranked Temple’s class as its best ever, it was still behind the Bearcats.
All you have to do is check the number of five-stars and four-stars on rosters like Alabama and Ohio State over the past few years to determine what the meaning of them on the field can be.
Geoff Collins, also a second-year coach, has not signed a four-star yet.
Maybe next year.
No one at the signing ceremony at the Aramark Facility (a huge upgrade, by the way, from the Student Pavilion) seemed to mind.
There were many of the obligatory ohhs and ahhs watching the highlight films of the Temple recruits. Here is the complete breakdown with heights, weights, 40 speeds and even some academic achievements. Nary a negative word will be found about this class on Pravda or any other site that covers Temple regularly using notepads, pen and tape recorders and “making phone calls”, but we will try to offer some balanced objective perspective here untainted by receiving a paycheck from Temple.
At the end of the presentation and remembering the similar feeling I had watching recruiting highlights the last three years, I got up out of my seat and the first thing I said to Temple linebacking legend Steve Conjar was: “How do we ever lose a game with these kind of players?”
(I did not have the heart to mention maybe it’s because we do some questionable, OK stupid, things like passing on first-and-goal at the Army 1 when we had the best fullback in the country available to lead block for a running back who gained 151 yards that day.)
It’s what you do with the players once you get them that determines wins and losses.
King represents what Collins is trying to do with this class. Collins called King a “designated pass rusher” and he had a couple of those in this class. If Temple can find a DPR who is also able to play the run well, that will be the guy who sees the field.
It would be nice to have reached up and grabbed a (five) star or four stars, but this is the process at Temple now and we won’t know if it’s a better one than the other teams in the conference until a couple of years from now. You can talk about length, speed and character until you are blue in the face, what matters most is wins on Saturdays. That’s really all that matters.
For now, though, the guys already in the program will have to make their mark. For the guys signed with this class, a little more patience is required.
Monday: Possible Johnson Replacement
Wednesday: Notes, Quotes and Anecdotes
Friday: Developmental Program?