Recruiting looking up for Carey

National High School Coach of the Year Gabe Infante will have a positive impact on both Temple’s game plans and recruiting

People who were wondering what the Temple football coaches were doing since spring practice was cut short can rest easy now because it’s obvious that they haven’t been.

The Temple coaches obviously have been working and working hard.

Rod Carey dipped into his past to pick up a center and now the Owls have a marquee running back for the future.

The 2021 class now includes one of the best running backs in South Jersey, Blackwood’s Johnny Martin and the Owls were able to land a big-time portal transfer from Northern Illinois, center C.J. Perez, to fit an area of need.

Also, Gonzaga (D.C.) defensive back Jalen McMurray turned down multiple Power 5 offers to attend Temple on a firm commitment (“I won’t listen to other offers”) and Iowa State’s No. 2 quarterback, Re-Al Mitchell, is a portal transfer.

Impressive indeed as I don’t recall even great recruiters like Al Golden and Matt Rhule getting a similar haul in the space of one month. Rod Carey is a damn good gameday coach, even if I disagree with his RPO offense, but him getting players eschewing the Power 5 for Temple was always a huge question for me.

Not anymore.

Already, the recruiting prowess of running backs coach Gabe Infante is starting to show. Infante has been a legendary high school head coach in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey and, when he was hired, it was thought he would be able to bring in a motherlode of talent from both sides of the river.

It took more time than I thought but better late than never.

To me, if Carey ever left, Al Golden would be a nice replacement but Infante might be an even better one. Golden can recruit and CEO but Infante can recruit and game-day head coach way better than Al. CEO? That’s a question but he was a damn good CEO at St. Joseph’s Prep.

It took him a little time to get his feet wet, but now it appears his persuasive powers helped him land someone who a few Power 5 schools were after. Just look at this quote from Martin, as told to 247 sports recruiting guru Brian Dohn.

If the kind of relationship-building skills Infante showed with Martin manifests itself in future recruits, the Owls could be moving up the rankings. Right now, their class is in the middle of the AAC pack (fifth) and they are an unacceptable 83 overall.

Something tells me by filling in areas of immediate need, as with Perez, and future need, as with Martin, the 2021 class will finish closer to 50 nationally and in the top three in the conference when all is said and done.

Not ideal, but you can win with those kinds of numbers, and,  with a head coach with an FBS record of 60-36, you can win a lot.

I’m not asking to win national championships at Temple but I’m asking to win a lot and the month of May, 2020, has been a terrific step in that direction. It’s nice to know the coaches are earning their coronavirus paychecks.

Monday: Suspending Campaigns



7 thoughts on “Recruiting looking up for Carey

  1. This is great news Mike! Nice to hear something positive for our football team amidst all of the uncertainty surrounding the up and coming fall season.

  2. That one of his former players opted to follow him speaks volumes. Infante can legitimately sell recruits on Carey not leaving for greener pastures after a successful season.

    Now to keep Sciano and Franklin from poaching Infante.

  3. What happened in the last couple of weeks is why I’ve been saying that it was too soon to judge Carey. Now, if only he would consider changing the offense, something I believe would result in an extra win or two a season both because a power offense is unique in today’s football and it is a time draining offense that saves your defense. Opposing offensive players hate staying on the sidelines for extended periods of time and it demoralizes them.

  4. Please recruit some of those offensive lineman at Blackwood. Johnny had some big holes to run through.

    • Still has very nice vision. Reminds me of Bernard Pierce in his running style. Legit 4.57 speed in the 40 (BP’s NFL combine time was 4.55). I believe with speed training Johnny will go below those important metrics because BP, while a 10.8 100-meter dash sprinter at the PIAA indoor championships, got faster each year at Temple in his 40 times.

      • Kid appears to have that extra gear. He darts through holes and is a solid 215 pounds. Get him on a college weightlifting and speed program, who knows how high he can climb. Imagine this kid and Davis in the same backfield.

  5. Whew! And here we thought Carey wasn’t doing well enough in recruiting. I guess he knew how to recruit at the MAC level and now our Temple program gives him an extra boost. Let’s hope it keeps up. Now if only he can get rid of those blowout losses, huh? (Altho a loss is a loss no matter the score, we probably would have lost those games anyway – but the embarrassment factor stinks).

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