You’ll be reading a lot about politics (though not here) in the next year and one of those things might be about this political candidate or that one hitting the “reset button.”
That got me to thinking about what all these coaching changes Temple has had in the last half-decade or so has done to recruiting. AMR (after Matt Rhule), both Geoff Collins and even Rod Carey now have had classes where they could at best provide a band-aid here and band-aid there in areas the Owls need immediate help.
That is an apt characterization of the first recruiting classes of both.
Now Carey, with a $10 million buyout that even a Power 5 school would think twice before eating, has an opportunity to hit the recruiting reset button. Let’s hope he takes it because a couple of band-aid-type classes thrown in every few years depletes the roster and a depleted roster eventually shows up on the field. The latest promising addition is running back Jeremiah Nelson and he put a lot of good moves on film, both at Iona Prep and Nassau County Community College.
Carey certainly has his own recruiting ideas from six successful seasons at Northern Illinois but Temple needs to aspire to get a higher level of recruit and has the geography to do it. NIU wasn’t located in the middle of 46 percent of the nation’s population, as Temple is, so the formula for the Owls would be 1-5 projects that the staff really likes on film and the rest three- and four-star prospects that not only the Temple staff likes but every paid P5 staff out there likes.
Trust, but verify.
Temple has a lot to sell. Twenty-four current players in the NFL speaks well for the opportunity to play one part of your career in an NFL stadium and finish up the rest of it in another NFL stadium. That, plus the fact that Temple is a proven winner. Since 2015, the Owls have won one AAC title, appeared in another and have won more AAC football games than anyone else, including UCF, USF and Memphis. Plus, the school is nationally known as the sixth-largest educator of professionals so that sheepskin is something to fall back on should a pro football career not be in the offing. It’s in the middle of an exciting city and, unlike, say, Penn State, not situated in the middle of nowhere. That appeals to “regular students” and it should also appeal to dynamic football players.
Fortunately, Carey has a gem like Fran Brown to head up the recruiting effort. In recruiting, Brown is the starting pitcher and Carey has to be the closer. Brown knows how Al Golden and Rhule build this team from the national bottom 10 to respectability.
“My recruiting philosophy is simply this,” Golden said when he got the Temple job. “Recruit an entire team every year. Eleven guys on defense, 11 guys on offense and a couple of specialists and you are never going to leave yourself short.”
That kind of sound thinking is the Cherry and White reset button Temple recruiting needs to hit now.
Saturday: The Long Game
Wednesday: The Bright Side