Anthony Russo: Let’s Go to the tape

Covering high school football for two Philadelphia newspapers for nearly 39 years, I got to see a lot of good quarterbacks.

Rich Gannon (St. Joseph’s Prep) and Matt Ryan (Penn Charter) later became NFL MVPs.

Yet, the night Anthony Russo won a state championship with Archbishop Wood, I made this bold statement to a group of writers I was with at HersheyPark Stadium: “He’s the best Philadelphia high school league quarterback I’ve ever seen and that includes Rich Gannon and Matt Ryan.”


Temple is set at QB with these 3

Not surprisingly, two or three nodded their heads in agreement.

That’s not to say that Russo will be an NFL MVP like those two were–geez, I hope, so, though–but his high school career in terms of stats and wins and sheer ability to throw the football surpassed those two.

At the time, Russo was a Rutgers’ commit and, as a Temple fan, he fit the profile of the one guy I wanted to have as my quarterback: A Philadelphia star who would be the Pied Piper of Philadelphia stars and make Temple a destination school. That came about when Matt Rhule pursued him and he de-committed from Rutgers and, after a brief one-afternoon flirtation with LSU and Les Miles, reaffirmed his commitment to Temple.

This is what I wrote on Twitter back in October of 2017:

Screenshot 2019-06-10 at 10.00.53 PM

Fortunately, the Steinmetzes agreed with me way back then.

He has gotten onto the field and he has not lost the job and I don’t think he will. That’s not to say Toddy “Touchdown” Centeio will not be nipping at his heels because he will and that’s good for Temple. Trad Beatty is also in line and I don’t think the Owls have had this much depth at the quarterback position since Maxwell Award winner Steve Joachim was backed up by future CFL star Marty Ginestra.

That’s a good thing, not a bad one.

For his first year after shaking off two years of rust, Russo had a terrific season. That’s not to say he was perfect. Fourteen touchdown passes and 14 interceptions is not a good ratio but, say, 25 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions is and that’s a pretty realistic goal to shoot for in terms of stats. Getting away from offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude is probably the best thing that ever happened to AR’s career.

To me, though, about a dozen wins would be even more impressive and, if that’s the end result of the 2019 season, I think Anthony Russo would take that and another 14/14 ratio again.

That’s what made him such a great quarterback in high school and it’s what makes him a great quarterback now.

Temple is lucky to have and, fortunately, it is only 80 or so days until we see him on the field again wearing Cherry and White.

Saturday: Archiving Temple’s Past




10 thoughts on “Anthony Russo: Let’s Go to the tape

  1. Video made me that much more excited about the upcoming season. One thing though. The gray Uni tops should be burned.

    • and burn black helmets, black jerseys, etc…,

      always thought Temple’s future success would be determined in a large part by the play under center. now we have three QBs who have the potential to be Temple stars…,

      what I didn’t foresee was the outstanding QB play from so many teams in conference…,

      everything is relative.., now, in 2019, Temple has one of the best QB rooms in the history of TUFB. However, the room is average when compared to the top teams in the conference this year.

      sometimes our vision is skewed by TUFB history. this year, more than ever, we must open the aperture.

      the true benchmarks reside in conference play and statistics

      • I agree that 14 interceptions is not a good stat. However, I seem to recall at least two if not more of them, were the result of deflections off the hands of receivers who should have caught the passes which hot them right in their hands. . The BC interception off the hands of the receiver changed momentum in favor of BC. Had TU gone on to score the game may have been over.

      • Yes.. 2 ints in BC game and 2 more at Maryland were delivered perfectly into hands of Tu receivers only to bounce off those hands and into arms of defenders. There may have been more that I cannot recall

  2. isn’t this something, here we are as Temple fans, again expecting a better then good year, no, a really good year.
    How blessed we are somehow in that TUFB has come along nicely in the past 12+ years.
    What a great accomplishment we HAVE viewed, so please let it continue. Damn but I have become demanding and fussy, love that winning style.
    Can I get an Amen, thanks.

  3. Anthony may need to compete with Todd, who is dual-threat. Carey likes to run the ball, so that may be an issue. If Wright wins the TB position, I see Anthony “d Arm” Russo running the play-option offense we all love to watch.

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