The King of All Classes




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 (recently merged with 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?


15 thoughts on “The King of All Classes

  1. meh….., we are ranked 6th in the conference and 77th nationally for a reason…,

    FIU had a heck of a season with two and three stars (X’s and O’s made up for a lack of Jimmy and Joe depth)

    the 2017 TUFB team had an abundance of talent, we lacked the X’s and O’s.., 2018 will be a re-building year

  2. If the “X’s and O’s” get better KJ, the Owls can still have a nice, if not great season.
    So, please explain how Temple with 6,5 and 4 more 3-stars is ranked behind those 3 teams in front of them in the conference. Was John right that the differences within the 3-star category are significant enough to do this?

    Also Mike, I understand that that Army loss sticks in your craw (mine too), but by now you really don’t need to repeat each and every detail every time. Just remind us with “the first and goal debacle at Army.” We can fill in the rest. That said, I have never read the “Pravda” site that irritates some of you so much and don’t need to because I really appreciate your approach to honestly evaluating Temple football.

    • I echo the last sentiment, but I also read and somewhat enjoy Pravda. Mike is right on, though, about the conflict of interest inherent in that site where the editor is a paid employee of Temple. You won’t find any links to a news or commentary story of him criticizing Golden, Rhule, Daz or Collins when they needed to be criticized for in-game decisions on that site. Got to wonder if the paycheck from Temple in addition to the double-dip has anything to do with it. I come here for the solid analysis among other things.

    • My research showed that 247 sports assign rankings to players to the fourth decimal with 1 being perfect. Three-star players thus can span a wide range. A team’s ranking comes from the average of those individual rankings so even though a team like TU had mostly three-star players, they were lower ranked three-star players thereby lowering TU’s team ranking. Three-star players, apparently, are not all equal.

    • Ditto about the feelings regarding the Army game. The results aren’t changing .

      • … but by pointing it out (several times), we could make sure a repeat of a similar fiasco in the future is averted

      • Its also called beating a dead horse.

      • I don’t mind watching Temple lose. I do mind watching them lose by doing stupid things and this staff has done more stupid things in one year on game day than the previous staff did in the last two. Might be a dead horse to you, it’s future loss prevention to me.

      • Mike are you coaching the Owls too ?? Or just a blogger ?
        How are you going to personally prevent a future loss for the team ?

        I just went over to the stable and the horse is still dead . You can be charged for abusing a corpse.

      • I would have pulled Marchi after Nova and scored against Army. A Rock run behind Sharga is about a 99.5 percent chance of scoring on first-and-goal from the 1. Not qualified to coach the Owls, but certainly advocated for those two decisions at the time that would have probably earned three more wins.

  3. Did anyone notice the Gasparilla bowl trophy the team hoisted up at the basketball game was not the trophy they received at the post game ceremony? Maybe the trophy wasn’t done yet when the game concluded and so they sent one to temple but I 100% wouldn’t put it past CC to create his own trophy to impress recruits.

    Picture references:

    View this post on Instagram

    👀 the @gasparillabowl 🏆! #TempleTUFF

    A post shared by Temple Football (@temple_fb) on

  4. Several past star-spangled recruits turned out to be overrated or, unfortunately, battling injuries. A lot of unranked and walk-ons are now in the NFL. TU finds diamonds in the ruff polished to Temple Tuff.

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