Recruiting 2021: That’s What I’m Talking About


There are none so blind as refuse to see.

The blueprints for Temple football’s decade-long transformation from 2006 chump to 2016 champ were in the Edberg-Olson Complex for all to see and it appears, after some rummaging through the files in the attic, Rod Carey’s staff have found them in one important area: Recruiting.

After a hiatus of Geoff Collins making a failed run through the South to fuel Temple with largely suspects, the Owls have gotten back to the prospect formula that worked so well for Al Golden and Matt Rhule:

Recruit Mid-Atlantic and DMV (Delaware-Maryland-Virginia) hard but, more importantly, get a significant number of players who have Power 5 offers. For Golden and Rhule, that breakdown was roughly this: 10-15 three stars and above with solid P5 offers with the rest of the class at least two stars and trusting the film on the others.

That’s what I’m talkin’ about, Willis.


Two stars like Tyler Matakevich (consensus national defensive player of the year as a senior) and Haason Reddick (a first-round NFL draft choice) were coached into five stars by the time they left.

Still, you can’t coach every two-star into a five-star and your chances are a lot better when your base is three.


We won’t get into every recruit, but running back Johnny Martin III is rated near the top of RBs in New Jersey and strong side defensive end Jordan Laudato of West Chester Henderson was rated as high as the No. 2 DE in the state of Pennsylvania. The Owls’ most recent commitment, safety Christian Abraham (St. Joseph’s, Montvale, N.J.) is in the top 30 of defensive players in that state.  Justin Lynch (Mount Carmel, Chicago) is the brother of a quarterback (Jordan) who was a Heisman Trophy finalist at Rod Carey’s former school, NIU. He was the leader of a state championship team in Illinois a year ago. In horse racing, good bloodlines almost always mean triple crown contenders. I like Lynch’s future at Temple. He was one of the few who didn’t have a P5 offer, but his film is among the most impressive.

According to, Temple now has 10 “hard commitments” and not a single one is lower than a three-star. Almost all had Power 5 offers (not just interest) in hand by commitment day. That’s the best recruiting start we’ve seen in a long while.

Even more importantly, the Owls have been building trust and relationships centered particularly around running backs coach Gabe Infante. Recruits have gone out of their way to praise Infante and he seems to be thriving in a role once played by Fran Brown.

Friday: One of Dick Englert’s last letters from a fan


12 thoughts on “Recruiting 2021: That’s What I’m Talking About

  1. I’m glad some of us kept our heads and said give Carey a chance before putting him on the next bus out of town. So, far, he has recruiting in a good place and got some guys through the portal. Now only if he’d adapt the offense add some Temple Tuff.

  2. A Positive though ton HC Carey from me.
    I usually forget that HC R Carey was a LINEMAN for Indiana(?), meaning he played Big Time Ball and was not a spotlight O performer like a wide out or runner.
    I suppose he was not a glory boy in a glory spot, just a big lumbering lineman who had to work every play for his team to advance to next 1st down..
    This means he knows what it takes, and that is a team to win.
    And he knows coaching is what lineman need always.
    Premier Running backs and wide outs can get along just saying -‘Yes coach’.

    • After QB, center is also the most cerebral position because it’s the center who calls out the defense and blocking schemes that change form play to play as the defense improvises to stop the offense.

      • John Madden, Andy Reed, Mike Ditka, Art Shell, Sid Gillman, and Chuck Knoll were offensive linemen.

  3. Lynch has good legs and reminds me of Chris Coyer and Forrest Gump.

  4. The worst corona outcome for TU and G-5 teams is now taking shape with the announcement of the Big Ten that they have canceled non-conference games. The lack of appearance fees will bankrupt athletic programs at dozens of schools.

    • No RU-TU game this year. I was looking forward to this one since Rhule handed off 5 yards in the backfield to Kenny Harper on 4th and 6 inches. My call then, now and forever was PJ sneaking behind Kyle Friend.

      • Somebody needs to get on the phone and contact West Virginia to replace Rutgers on Sept. 19.

        And while we’re at it, we could play Syracuse instead of Idaho the week before.

      • Great idea. We’d win both games by 2 tds

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