Owls Will Prove Character Prevails

Matt Ioannidis made one of the most iconic plays in Temple history at the 1:20 time stamp here.

Back when getting into college was literally a matter of life or death, a lot of the Philadelphia Catholic League high schools started shifting their focus from core subjects to doing well in the SATs. A lot of the tests and courses were geared to getting that minimum SAT score and thereby saving a lot of the lives of their students with a heavy does of late afternoon tutoring.

You could be a real SOB but if you got the SAT score and the nice guy who got A’s in all of his classes sitting next to you did not, he was going to Vietnam and you were getting the student deferment.  It was a messed-up system, but it was the system of the day—SAT scores meant everything and grades meant little.


Tavon Young closes fast on Will Fuller.

So it is today with the NFL combine scores and the NFL draft. A lot of Temple nice guys who got A’s on the field got passed over but guys who did well on that combine test by SOBs.

The difference this time is that the nice guys will not get shot at, but instead will have a shot at sticking in the  NFL. The only Temple guys who got a fair shake were Tavon Young (fourth round, Balitmore Ravens) and Matt Ioannidis (Washington, fifth round).

Tyler Matakevich, the consensus national defensive player of the year, was seriously overlooked and went to the Steelers (seventh round) and Robby Anderson and Kyle Friend, while undervalued, will get a more than fair shake with Todd Bowles and the New York Jets as UDFAs.  Friend did not go to the combine, but both he and Anderson ruled Temple pro day. The real pleasant surprise was Brandon Shippen, who went to the Miami Dolphins as an UDFA.

The biggest offenders in all of this were the Philadelphia Eagles, who chose to draft guys of questionable character in rounds five and after when they could have had all but one of the Temple players. If you are wondering why the Eagles have never won a Super Bowl, here it is:

Of the six players, the Eagles drafted on Day Three, three face character questions. Of the six players the Eagles drafted on Day 3, three face obvious character questions.  Fifth-round pick Wendell Smallwood (West Virginia), was arrested on criminal charges of witness intimidation back in 2014.  In the seventh round,  the Eagles dipped into the sordid world of the SEC and took LSU safety Jalen Mills, who was arrested and charged with battery of a woman in 2014. Later that round, they picked Florida defensive end Alex McCalister, who  was dismissed from the Gators for an undisclosed reason in December. When they say undisclosed,  it usually is worse than you imagine.

Meanwhile, in a related development, former first-round pick Johnny Manziel watched the first night of the draft from a bar and purchased 300 shots for his fellow patrons.

Tuesday: Double Loss

Thursday: Soul City Walker

10 thoughts on “Owls Will Prove Character Prevails

  1. Congrats on all of the Temple draftees. good luck on ya NFL careers.

  2. Hard to believe Kyle Friend wasn’t dafted, but he’ll get a FA contract I’m sure. Anderson too, but he was a bit inconsistent; but will also probably get a FA contract. With Shippen that makes 6. What’s the most draftees and FAs Temple has ever had in one year? I wonder if Christopher will go to the CFL. Good luck to all and this should help recruiting after a 4 year drought.

  3. On a separate note….the Owls just got a commit from one of the highest rated kickers in the country. Once again the staff is able to identify a critical need and execute against a recruiting strategy. Congrats to all!

  4. The only name I saw was Aaron Boumerhi and I don’t think he’s one of the highest-rated kickers in the country. When the Owls landed Brandon McManus out of North Penn, he was rated the No. 5 kicker in the country and turned down a Michigan offer. I understand this kid is a walk-on. Even current kicker Jones got a full scholarship from Temple and was highly rated coming out of Orlando. In a separate note, interesting that the FSU kid was a No. 2 draft choice.

    • That’s him. ESPN has him rated as a three star and the number 52 kicker in his class. Kickers are notorious head cases (see Jim Cooper 2.0) but I’ll take this kid. Per his Twitter account he’s an owl but not sure of walk-on versus schollie.

      • definitely walk on … they will probably give him a redshirt this year and decide whether he’s good enough for a 2017 schollie a year from now. I”m very pleased with Austin Jones. We have him for 2 more years.

      • I love Austin Jones but you can never have too many good kickers or QBs. I’m still scarred from the debacle that ensued post Brandon McManus departure.

  5. Good point. You’d no more use true freshman Jim Cooper Jr. opening day at Notre Dame than the Phillies would use Jason Groome after drafting the kid from Barnegat High in June the next night at Yankee Stadium. That’s the sports version of shellshocked and Coop never recovered.

  6. I love to watch the Eagles lose, so I’m glad to see them not draft any Temple players. Temple Owls have more Super Bowl Championship rings than Eagles players that’s for sure.

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