Now it’s more about the Jimmies and Joes

Even though Stan Drayton is the shortest guy in this photo, he stood tall for honoring Spencer Prescott’s Temple legacy last week.

Hard to believe it was more than 15 years ago, after attending a press conference that featured a Joe Klecko introduction, I dashed off a congratulatory email to a new Temple head coach.

It took only a couple of hours for Al Golden to respond.

“Thanks, Mike,” he said. “I’m going up to St. Peter’s today to recruit a guy who could be a game-changer. Wish me luck.”

One of Golden’s first recruits, the late Kee-Ayre Griffin, wasn’t a game-changer but he was a more than solid contributor to Temple’s turnaround. Griffin was holding offers from BC and Pitt, but something Golden said to him that day convinced him to attend Temple.

When I asked Al what he said a couple of weeks later at the signing day ceremony, Golden smiled and said, “that’s a professional secret” before telling me what his recruiting philosophy was. “We’ve got 46 percent of the nation’s population a five-hour drive from Temple. Not many schools can say that. We can’t get them all but we should be able to get enough really good players to turn this thing around.”

The rest was college football history.

In that first class, Golden recruited 18 team captains from either state or league championship high school teams.

The number on the helmet makes zero sense.

“They weren’t necessarily the most recruited guys in those teams,” he said, “but they were leaders of championship teams and I wanted to bring that mentality here. You bring five guys Power 5 schools want, mix in a bunch of leaders and guys you can develop and you can win.”

Drayton has put together the X’s and O’s part of the job. Now it’s time to get the Jimmies and Joes.

That’s pretty much the challenge Drayton faces now.

He’s not going to out-recruit Penn State or Maryland but, in the new AAC, he doesn’t have to. Get five guys holding P5 offers and 20 guys in the leader/development area and Temple can win that league. Really, all he has to do is out-recruit Memphis, UAB and USF and the Owls can challenge for the title every year.

Drayton might have the personality to do it.

Like Golden (and unlike Rod Carey), he’s already connected with Temple football alumni. Instead of sending a representative to former Owl coach Spencer Prescott’s funeral last week, Drayton showed up himself. Carey was pretty standoffish with Temple football alums by comparison. It was a super classy move by Drayton. Golden was also good at networking with Temple football alums, as was Matt Rhule. Golden brought back TEMPLE on the helmets, because it reminded him of the Temple TUFF teams he faced while at Penn State. Maybe Drayton will put his own imprint on the program by bringing back TEMPLE on one side of the helmet and keeping the T on the other side. Getting rid of the number (which is already on the jersey and was a Carey move) makes the most sense.

That’s cosmetic, though. The substantive change is getting back to the Temple TUFF culture re-established under Golden.

The template for Temple football success has been established. All Drayton has to do is follow it and success will follow.

Wish him luck.

Friday: Navigating the new paradigm

Monday: The Tie That Binds


15 thoughts on “Now it’s more about the Jimmies and Joes

  1. The more I hear about our new head football coach, the more my optimism builds for this once proud program to rebound and once again be Temple TUFF! .That certainly was a class act for Coach Drayton to personally attend Coach Prescott’s funeral last week. He appears to connect with former players. I like him! Good luck Coach, and let’s goooooo Owls!

  2. On a non football note, sad to hear we lost another alum ….
    RIP Bob Saget, class of 1978

    • Yes, Rest in peace Bob!

      • Pretty hard to process this. It seems to be of “natural causes” although you associate natural causes with 99-year-olds and not necessarily 65-year-olds. . I was sports editor of The Temple News when Bob was at Temple and a friend of mine wrote a story for the paper about Bob winning an award for a short film he did. Did not know Bob because (at least at that time) the film classes were separate from the journalism classes at Annenberg but certainly was aware of him. RIP.

  3. Did Bob S have any involvement with athletic programs in terms of known donations? Don’t recall him mentioned here previously. Just curious, no agenda.

  4. Drayton needs to get busy, and real soon. Six out and already enrolled vs zero coming in:

    The MR hire I was somewhat optimistic and mostly curious. Immediately pessimistic w/DAZ and Collins hires. Angry w/Carey hire, and now frustrated w/Drayton.

    He picked the worst two coordinators in all of college football. And, how did he not have his eyes on the transfer portal before he signed? He should have been ready to make offers to these kids immediately….., or, as now apparent, he will leave recruiting and talent acquisition to his coordinators and position coaches. This is not a good plan.

    Drayton better be able and ready to impose his will on the coordinators, both of them have terrible job performance history.

    What will be the TUFB identity during the Drayton tenure? Hard to tell by his actions so far. Spread vs power football? Simulated pressure, 4-2-5, or Tampa 2?

    He has a blank slate, Carey was the worst recruiter since Berndt. The roster is not biased towards any scheme. Compared to the 2021 teams in the AAC, TUFB is small, slow, and weak. Yes, Carey should get all the blame for the blowout losses. However, any coach would be hard pressed to win in the AAC with the current roster.

    • Can’t argue with your assessments:
      1. His press conference seemed more a relief that he got the job as a reward for his years at other places rather than addressing this most pressing need of an outline of how he would turn around the program.
      2. Bill Parcells says “you are what your record says you are” and his two top lieutenants have records that scream bums.
      3. We are nowhere near as far along in recruiting after the same amount of time that Golden was here. By the third week, Golden nabbed the then best running back in North Jersey (Kee-Ayre Griffin), who had a BC offer. Where are our guys with P5 offers being signed by this supposedly charismatic recruiter? I must’ve missed something but we have a lot of guys still deciding and I see a lot of the competition being other G5 schools.
      As MH55 said on another site, he has less than two weeks to impress.
      We need players, a lot of them, and good players ready to go, which means portal guys this year and high school guys next.

      • insane.., both coordinators had terrible records at previous stops with better talent.

        Why does Drayton think they’ll do better with less comparable talent? Eliot was out of football for a reason, nobody wanted him last year and nobody wanted him this year until Drayton called. Out of work and needed a job.., bottom of the barrel

        Think about it.., how can anyone say Carey’s staff wasn’t better? His coordinators, unbelievably, produced better results.

        Pray and re-calibrate expectations. TUFB AAC Conference facts:
        * least talented roster
        * two least accomplished coordinators
        * HC was a position coach
        * conference worst incoming recruiting class
        * ZERO upgrades via the portal (TUFB is asking, nobody is coming.., ala same as the OC and DC, bottom of the barrel)

  5. I know the Eliot type. When I was sports editor of The Montgomery County Record, I needed a guy who could lay out a lot of pages, write headlines and edit copy at a fast pace. I was in my 20s and interviewed a lot of guys of all different ages for the job. A lot of the guys talked a great game in the interviews but when they were given the test they failed. I ended up hiring a guy in his 50s who said little during the interview but was the best I’ve ever seen in the test. My managing editor said: “Are you sure you want to hire this guy?” I said, “Yeah, why?” He said ” … but he’s 50!!!” I said I didn’t care if he was 100 his work in the test showed he was the best guy. I think Eliot talked his way into the job and the test comes at the expense of Temple fans.

    • This is what Drayton does not understand, kids and parents today do their homework.

      Who in their right mind would turn down P5 offers to play for Eliot and this OC?

      The truth – other schools will use Drayton’s OC and DC selections against TUFB. The Fran Brown types are licking their chops! All they have to do is flash the OC/DC’s the recent history…,

      Only six recruits and zero transfers highlights the blatantly obvious: Drayton is fighting uphill, nobody wants to play for TUFB.

      In about another 3 months Drayton will wake up in the middle of the night. It will be crystal clear. He picked two guys nobody wants to play for, now what?

      How many HC changes in the last four years? Recruiting at Temple is hard. Carey didn’t even try. Now Drayton made a hard job next to impossible. Having never been a coordinator, maybe Drayton doesn’t know the right criteria for selection? How about points/yards for/against? SMH

      TU took the longest to fill the HC vacancy. The process voided the 2022 recruiting class early signing period. Now, the OC/DC selections voided the 2022 portal class.

      Best case, TU wins 3 or 4 games and Drayton is able to replace the two coordinators next year.

      Worst case, more blowouts and Drayton fires both coordinators in mid to late season.

      Hard lessons, painful on the job training for this first time HC and former position coach with zero coordinator experience. Who is coaching Drayton? He needs a full-time mentor in EO, great job for Boo.

      • The sad thing is that Drayton doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to do this job right. Bring in a DC who has a history of shutting out opponents on the FBS level and not a guy who has a history of hemorrhaging points; bring in an OC who has a history of turning scoreboards into adding machines and not one who struggles to get past the 50. There’s a reason Drayton was a position coach all of his life and we might be witnessing why now.

  6. Another ridiculous lousy Inky article for Temple sports. A Jr. high length write up for Temple’s win over Tulsa last night as compared to two LaSalle article/photo posts the day before. It’s really a damn shame TU is pushed off to the side like that.
    Anyway, I hope Temple didn’t sell the farm again with Drayton’s contract like they did with Carey. It should be a wait and see, show-us-something-first deal – but us fans are always given the wait and see. Very hard to understand why he’s not recruiting and portaling like hell already. Being only a position coach coming in maybe he’s struggling to get things organized?

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