Matt Rhule puts stamp on first Temple recruiting class

Rhule2_7104
Rhule was a former Temple assistant before bolting for the NFL. Now, he’s back as head football coach.
Rikard Larma/Metro

 

 

They are just a bunch of names right now. Within a couple of years, Matt Rhule hopes the 23 players who officially chose Temple Tuesday on National Signing Day will be the foundation for a solid football program.

“This class will set the tone for 2-3 years down the road,” said Rhule, who stepped into the recruiting process late, after Steve Addazio left for Boston College. “I’m grateful most of the kids who were recruited by Steve stood by us and decided to stay. I feel really confident about the direction of the team.”

While no one will confuse the group Rhule managed to haul in with Nick Saban’s stash at Alabama — or to NCAA sanctioned Penn State — the Owls have signed a respectable class.

They concentrated on beefing up both their offensive and defensive lines, while also landing one highly-regarded running back, Zaire Williams, and quarterback P.J. Walker, who impressed Rhule when he drove Elizabeth (N.J.) High the length of the field for the winning touchdown in the state title game.

Rhule has no idea how much he can lean on any of them right away.

“I don’t know because I don’t have a great feel for what’s here,” said Rhule. “Everyone on the line I knew is gone.  The backs [including Super Bowl-winning rookie Bernard Pierce and Matt Brown] are gone. I think we’ll continue with some of the guys who are already here and grow with these guys [the new recruits].’’

If Rhule has a recruiting philosophy it’s to focus on players within a few hours of campus.
“We have 10 kids from Pennsylvania and 10 from Jersey,” he said. “We believe in the footprint of being able to recruit on a tank of gas.”

“I’ve learned I don’t have to sell Temple at the end. I have to sell it in the beginning. These kids have a multitude of opportunities. But once they take a look at what we have here they like what they see.’’

For now these future Owls are just names. It’s up to Rhule and his staff to make them players.

Grading the Owls

Rhule’s class is ranked No. 91 in the country, according to Rivals.com. Temple didn’t steal any five- or four-star recruits, but here are the best coming to North Broad:

Three star recruits:
Matt Barone, OG
Zaire Williams, RB
Buddy Brown, LB

Two star recruits:
Jim Cooper, K
P.J. Walker, QB
Tyler Haddock, DT
Julian Taylor, TE
Shane Rafter, OT
Jihaad Pretlow, RB
Zach Grant, WR
Jahad Thomas, RB
Cory Crawford, WR
Brian Carter, DT
Semaj Reed, DE
Jarred Alwan, LB
Artel Foster, S
Averee Robinson, DT
Kiser Terry, DE



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.