Recruiting: Fireworks or Dud?


It’s quite possible this recruiting haul on the beach last  year was better than this year.

For nearly two weeks now, the Temple football twitter site promoted July 4th fireworks with at least a hint or two that a big-time recruit will be committing on that day.

That’s the deal with fireworks. The more promises you make, the greater the expectations. Sometimes they go off in multi-colored extravaganzas and sometimes they blow up in your face. This latest rollout qualified more in the latter category than the former from what I can see.

Our thoughts on Temple football recruiting, particularly since Al Golden brought his binder to town, have simply been this:


The article did not mention where the six July 4 commits received offers from in addition to Temple, but Shawn Pastor’s excellent site,, did.  One of them was Kennique Bonner-Steward, a 6-4, 215-pound, dual-threat quarterback from William Amos High in Cornelius, N.C. Bonner-Steward had 17 offers, most from FCS schools and his top “other” FBS offers were from Tulane, Old Dominion and Georgia State (err, not Tech).

This is the spin Pravda–otherwise known as–put on the day:


A little misleading as an astute guy named Steve correctly pointed out:


You will never, ever, ever, find Pravda criticize a Temple football recruiting class perhaps because the editor of that site is a paid Temple employee. Everything ranks from honky-dory to downright spectacular over there. Just a theory based on years of observation.

Speaking of which, that elicited a very defensive response from Gauss’ boss (John DiCarlo, above). What the hell does Tyler, Tavon, Dion, Matt and Nate have to do with Collins under-performing against P5 competition this year? And what, exactly, did Collins have to do with developing any of those above players?

The answer would be zero.

Just because Matt Rhule got the job done doesn’t mean Collins will do the same.

The other commitments were  running back Jamal Speaks (Upper Marlboro, Md), Tampa (Fla.) wide receiver Josh Youngblood and two defensive linemen from Georgia, Zaylin Wood and Jacoby Sharpe. Speaks had an offer from Maryland and Youngblood had an offer from Minnesota so, on the day, those are the two most-high profile Temple recruits.

Not the kind of fireworks we were looking for considering that the Owls were able to land much-higher profile guys under both Golden and Rhule.

Here’s another take calling out Pravda:



Temple football has a highly paid staff of professionals in charge of these things but the thought out there is that other schools have more highly paid professionals in charge of the same things and that if the two ever agreed on a player that would be a good thing, not a bad one.

Temple is never going to win all the battles with the so-called Power 5 schools for players, but our formula for long-term success is that Temple should win at least a few of them—anything from a quarter to a half—and then trust its instincts on other type players.

Those instincts have served other staffs well with guys like Muhammad Wilkerson (a two-star who turned into a first-round NFL draft choice) and Haason Reddick, a walk-on who was a higher first-round choice. Then there is Tyler Matakevich, who turned his only offer (Temple) into a national consensus defensive player of the year (Bednarik, Nagurski Awards).

Those are the exceptions, though, to the general college football rule. The really successful programs develop players in addition to be able to win a majority of recruiting battles.

Ideally, that’s the kind of recruiting balance you are looking for in a good class. This one has leaned in the developmental direction and, while that might turn out to be a good thing, it leans more toward risk than reward.

No matter how Pravda spins it.



12 thoughts on “Recruiting: Fireworks or Dud?

  1. What surprises me is that the staff allowed guys like Jordan Magee and Edward Saydee (fcs offers) to commit this early in the cycle. The thought is that they impressed in camp and so they are diamonds in the rough.

  2. Surprised the staff took recruits like Jordan Magee and Edward Saydee (Fcs offers) this early in the recruiting cycle. The hope is they saw something in camps that made them diamonds in the rough.

  3. Tough to win those recruiting battles when you don’t have a stadium to call your own and you can’t fill your rental property halfway. It’s cool that television gets you on TV – but plenty of other schools have the same access.

    • Stadium has nothing to do with this in my opinion. It’s all about the hyped up status of ‘power conferences’ which will all come into perspective come realignment time in 5 or so years.

  4. Mike, you make a really good point. I guess our hope is that the staff identified students who had much more talent and upside than other schools recognized. While time will tell, it seems early to be celebrating the way Pravda is.

  5. Put on your cherry goggles and enjoy the galactic star glow Negadelphia.

  6. Phil had the best comment. Mike tells it like it is. No rose (or Cherry) colored glasses. Love the fact that this site looks out for the interests of Temple first, and refuses to kiss the asses of the coaches like Pravda does. Saw Mike’s exchange with the defensive John DiCarlo on Facebook. If it was a Harvard debating class, the prof would have given Mike a first-round TKO.

  7. There was no more non-sequitur than DiCarlo saying this was a good recruiting class because Dawkins, Reddick, Matakavech and Wilkerson did well as 2 stars. So Temple is supposed to be satisfied with getting two stars forever and not winning any recruiting battles with the P5? That’s not a formula for sustainable success.

  8. Mike, Coach Collins’ recruiting focus is in the Southeast of our country. There is a ton of talent there without a doubt. How much is CC recruiting in our geographic area, say the entire state of PA, NJ, and mId-Atlantic from VA to NY?

    From my memory regarding articles about recruiting written by you in the past, you stressed that the focus should be on the traditional recruiting areas plus stealing a few from FLA. Am I remembering correctly? If so, have you changed your mind or are you giving CC the benefit of the doubt as he has proven to be a good recruiter in the past?

    Just curious and not a criticism. I admit I’m biased in favor of local players and very pleased when they succeed like Hason Reddick, Colin Thompson, and many others. Not that I don’t come to admire recruits from afar as they are all Owls.

    • Major red flags here, psc. This is a southern-centric staff with a southern-centric recruiting point of view. For Temple to have long-term success, there must be a heavy element of East Coast people on the staff. Rhule had that in Fran Brown in South Jersey. Temple now has Pannagos, DiMichele and Foley. Everybody else is focused on the south. Golden could go into any high school in NJ, PA and SJ and be treated like a king and had guys (like Spencer Prescott with Bruce Arians) take care of D.C., Va., Maryland

  9. But even kids from the south CC got aren’t the 4-5 (maybe some 3) star ones. So what good is concentrating down there really doing? TU coaches, no matter where they’re from, should never abandon or take lightly the NE region.

    • For a guy who was the recruiting coordinator at Georgia Tech and Alabama, his haul from his strong area of the country is not impressive. I did not expect a five-star from this guy but I certainly expected a few 4*s because his area of strength was supposed to be recruiting. It certainly hasn’t been game-day coaching.

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