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
International

Many deaths as boat with African emigrants sinks…

BENGHAZI Libya (Reuters) - A boat packed with up to 250 African emigrants trying to reach European shores sank on Sunday off the Libyan coast…

Local

State health department warns against rare respiratory virus…

The New York State Department of Health is calling upon parents to be aware of the symptoms of enterovirus EV-D68. More than 12 children across the…

National

Liberal Vermont Senator Sanders may seek U.S. presidency…

By Will DunhamWASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bernie Sanders, one of the Senate's leading liberals, said on Sunday he is thinking about running for U.S. president in…

Money

Second Shift: Turning fun into money

In this week's Second Shift series, meet a New Yorker who has established two successful careers around having fun.

Movies

Dan Stevens kisses Cousin Matthew goodbye

Dan Stevens wanted a change and he certainly got one. After quickly developing a devoted fan base as Matthew Crawley on "Downton Abbey," the 32-year-old…

Movies

Nerd alert: Genesis Rodriguez, robot-maker

Geeks of the world, you're about to fall in love with Genesis Rodriguez. There's no point in resisting. The actress, appearing in Kevin Smith's totally…

The Word

The Word: Kanye West wants everyone on their…

Maybe we can blame this one on the migraine, too. Kanye West is drawing ire for halting a performance in Sydney when his demands that…

Movies

That's a wrap on TIFF 2014

This year's Toronto International Film Festival closes without the satisfying sense of certainty that had become a mainstay in recent years. Last year, for example,…

NFL

3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the…

NFL

Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…

NFL

Giants vs. Cardinals: 3 things we learned

The Giants heard all week about how ragged their new offense has looked, but even when they finally answered the bell they still can’t find a way to win.

NFL

About a quarter of football players will get…

About one in four National Football League players are likely to end up suffering cognitive impairments during their lifetime, according to a report.

Home

DIY design: Try this upcycle furniture project

Tiffany Threadgould is living a DIY life. The Chief Design Junkie at TerraCycle, an international waste management company headquartered in Trenton, New Jersey, grew up…

Parenting

The downside of a BFF

For teenage girls a best friend can mean everything, but the way they deal with their problems together can lead to depression

Education

How many colleges should I apply to? Your…

To the average high school senior, creating the perfect college application can seem like a golden ticket into their future. Students and their parents spend…

Career

How Generation Z will change the way Americans…

What to learn how to establish a career in this new economy? Look no further than the current generation of young people - that is,…