Baylor had to go through this exact same thing a year ago.
Editor’s Note: Fizzy checks in after Fran Brown checked out.
By Dave (Fizzy) Weinraub
Long ago, in a galaxy far away, I coached the junior varsity at West Philadelphia High School.
As this was an inner-city school, hardly any of the guys trying out had ever played organized football. So once they had their physical exams, we had them put on pads and a helmet from a large pile, and go through some skill tests. Of course, we wanted to see who could pass and catch, but our main objective was to find the tough guys. We knew if they were tough, we’d coach them up and find the right position.
Another thing we did was give the players themselves a chance to tell us who they thought were toughest guys by secret ballot. On more than one occasion, we were surprised because we’d overlooked someone. One of my players once said, “Are you kidding? There isn’t a guy in the neighborhood who’d mess with him.”
I’m bringing this up because Temple football recruiting is now in deep trouble. Ed Foley was gone before the season began, and now Fran Brown has bolted to help Schiano rebuild the Rutgers program. These two guys had well-established relationships with high school coaches throughout the tri-state area. I can imagine there were many phone calls to Foley and Brown from High school coaches, and the conversation might have gone something like this.
“Hey Ed (Fran), you should take a look at this kid I have. He’s not on anyone’s radar, but he’s just learning the game. He didn’t come out until he was a junior because his family moved around a lot, and he got into a little trouble. This year though, he started to blossom and is going to graduate. Maybe you should invite him to one of your camps. He’s six-two, 220, and a real hard hitter. He should make a great linebacker.”
We all know the Owls hardly ever got the three and four-star recruits. And yet, this year’s talent level was damn near the equal of any other team in our conference. We got to that level because of situations and players like I just mentioned above. We recruited the late bloomers, the overlooked, and the second team all-conference players. Now, Temple doesn’t have any coach with that kind of local rapport and recruiting experience. The entire coaching staff except for Gabe Infante is from the mid-west.
Well, it is what it is now. So what do we do? One suggestion is Coach Carey quickly look over the top recruiters from the Penn State, Maryland, and Pitt coaching staff because they all heavily recruit here. Find the best. Find the money. Make him an offer he can’t refuse.
Another example is when Matt Rhule arrived at Baylor; he hired the president of the Texas coaches association. Temple football desperately needs someone with proven relationships in the tri-state area.
If we can’t re-establish a loyal local base of feeder coaches, we’re in deep trouble. The tough kids live here.
Wednesday: The All-Hands Bowl
Friday: A close look at North Carolina