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
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…