Somewhere, Rod Carey’s got to be talking to himself

It’s impossible to find a single photo of Rod Carey laughing and joking with Temple players like Matt Rhule does here.

The game has passed Rod Carey by and somewhere, deep down, the Temple University head coach for the next couple of games has to know it.

For the last few weeks, Carey has been on a loop at these post-game press conferences with statements like “our offense didn’t give us a chance to win” or “our defense played well enough to win” or “we’ve got to coach better.”

Deep down, even if he doesn’t say it, Carey knows what really happened. In the offseason, he harped on the “next man up” mantra but, in college football, you run out of next men up who are good enough to replace the previous men.

If he was honest with himself, he’d come to this conclusion:

“I’ve never been a player’s coach and, since the portal came, this is the worst time to be a hard ass.”


“We lost 15 good players in the transfer portal and I just didn’t do a good enough job of replacing them. I guess I just rubbed those guys the wrong way but that’s just my personality.”

That’s the Gosh-honest truth, whether he wants to admit it or not.

Even Steve Addazio was popular with Temple players.

While Temple had a mass exodus of players leaving, plenty of other G5 schools had nobody leave. CUSA champion UAB had nobody leave for Power 5 schools. Sun Belt champion Coastal Carolina had nobody leave. AAC champion Cincinnati got more players in the transfer portal than it lost. Do you think Coastal quarterback Grayson McCall could have improved his draft status by transferring to a Power 5 school? Sure. But he was happy where he was and the way he was being used.

Not true for Anthony Russo, a pocket passer who this staff tried to remake into an RPO quarterback. It would be naive to think that players like Vince Picozzi, the team’s best offensive lineman last year, or Arnold Ebiketie, the team’s best pass rusher, felt they were being utilized to the best of their abilities as well. If they were, they might have stayed.

The difference not only was that those teams were championship caliber but had coaches who were popular enough with the players and fostered a culture where everybody–both the good players and the next men up–were all in. At Temple, only the next men up were all in and that was the downfall.

Think about it. There are plenty of photos of Temple players laughing and joking with Matt Rhule, Al Golden and Steve Addazio. I have not seen a single one of a group of Temple players laughing and joking with Carey. At Temple, under Golden, Rhule and Daz (and even Geoff Collins), football was both fun and business.

Under Carey, things are pretty grim and there are fewer grins.

Temple was the hardest-hit G5 school in the transfer portal by far and the reason is as plain as the nose on Rod Carey’s face. It has shown on the field.

In a place like Northern Illinois, there was no transfer portal, Carey could hold things together because those players had no options.

Now things have fallen apart and even Humpty Dumpty can’t put it back together again.

Do you think Temple has the same mass exodus of talent with, a popular players’ coach like Matt Rhule or Al Golden?


That’s a lesson for the administration when they look at the type of personality they want to bring in to replace Carey at the end of the season.

For Carey, though, the days of his style of coaching might be over and, when he talks to himself at night, that’s probably a realization he’s come to as well.

Friday: Temple-Tulsa

Did You Ever Get the Feeling?

Figuring out Temple football gave Matt Rhule this kind of living space

Every comedian has a shtick, a routine, style of performance associated with that particular person.

Temple football today reminds me of a 1950s and 60s comedian named George Goebel. He started a series of jokes with “Do you ever get the feeling?”

He had the whole comedy thing figured out in how it would work given his circumstances. He knew the room.

Matt Rhule definitely did not have the Temple football room figured out until after his first two years and, largely to figuring it out, he’s sitting on millions of dollars and, on top of that, trying to sell at $2.5 million home in Waco after moving on to the Panthers.

Rod Carey would do well taking notes.

Do you ever get the feeling that this is the year Carey figures how to succeed at Temple? I have my doubts but we shall see.

How did Rhule figure Temple out? After the first two years, he scrapped the spread and went to a more conventional pro offense using two backs. In this interview with USA Today’s Paul Myerberg, Rhule capsulated the Epiphany beautifully. The scheme fit the school. Temple TUFF, 10th and Diamond, run the ball, with two backs, make explosive plays off the play-action passing game, play great defense and special teams.

This the key quote in that story:

Said Rhule, “How do we differentiate ourselves? How do we make ourselves hard to prepare for? Put two backs on the field. Put two tight ends on the field.

“This is what your roots are. These kids have made themselves really tough. And that’s the only way we’ll ever win. By being a really, really tough football team.”

Let’s analyze that. What does “put two backs on the field” mean? Two halfbacks? Two fullbacks? Three quarterbacks? It means exactly what he did: Put a fullback in front of a tailback, establish the run, bring the safeties and the linebackers up in run support and use deft play-faking to the backs in throwing to wide open receivers for explosive downfield plays. It was what we were pleading for him to do in this space for the first two years of the Rhule Era.

Carey, to me, is a good coach but Rhule made the leap to great when he went from to a more traditional NFL-style offense.

Temple has the offensive line to run such an offense, experienced, talented and averaging 300 pounds across the front. Use, say, Tayvon Ruley (6-0, 216) as a fullback in front of Ray Davis and that’s even an extra blocker at the point of attack for a shifty cutback runner. Throw one more blocker in the area of defenders and Davis has a bigger hole to cut through. The Owls have a quarterback known for an accurate and big arm and not for his legs. Those are the essential elements of a play-action focused offense, not an RPO one. Great coaches adjust to their personnel; they don’t make the personnel adjust to them.

Is Carey comfortable with just good or does he want to be great?

This season Temple fans should find out if the Owls play at least nine or more games. If Carey is still living in a modest home in South Jersey next year and driving a pickup truck, he will have done things his way and gone 4-4.

If, on the other hand, he reads the room better than a year ago, he will be 9-0 or 8-1 looking for a $2.5 million mansion somewhere, maybe even Waco.

It’s the difference between being good and great.

Now let’s go have a season and find out.

Friday: The AAC After Week One

TU: One Step back, two steps forward?


Temple’s best two football eras came by hiring guys who were successful head coaches at other big-time programs, as witnessed by the BOT’s putting their money where their mouths were here to hire Pop Warner.

Every time Temple changes a head coach, and that’s far too many recently, we argue against a line of thinking in the AD’s office that Temple should take one step back for two steps forward.

That is, hiring a “promising coordinator” from a big-time program and essentially giving up one year so he learns on the job how to be a head coach and gives Temple a good back end of that contract to make up for the learning curve.

When Geoff Collins left, we argued that Temple was past all of that and the Owls could not survive this pattern of one bad year and a couple of good ones. Fortunately, it took Manny Diaz leaving after 18 days for Pat Kraft to adopt that strategy.

It worked in the sense that the Owls went sideways, not backward, in Rod Carey’s first season, unlike what they did in the inaugural seasons of Matt Rhule and Collins. While Collins went 6-6 in his first regular season, it represented a four-loss drop from the previous two with essentially the same talent.

Every new coach since Wayne Hardin left was either a failed head coach at the place before him (Jerry Berndt was 1-11 at Rice before coming to Temple) or a coordinator (Ron Dickerson, Clemson; Al Golden, Virginia; Steve Addazio, Florida; Rhule, Temple via New York Giants and Collins, Florida).

Screenshot 2020-04-19 at 11.46.30 AM

Bob Mizia (left) and Pete Righi with coach Wayne Hardin in 1975


Bobby Wallace doesn’t count because he was a Division II head coach and it could be argued jumping two divisions eliminates any game-day coaching advantages he might have had because the CEO aspect of a FBS job is so much different.


The only person who had a good first season was Addazio, and his inexperience as a head coach was somewhat ameliorated by his hiring key members of a staff coming off a national championship (Chuck Heater, Florida DC, and Scot Loeffler, Tim Tebow’s QB coach, among several).

Pop Warner had two regular winning seasons his first two years at Temple. So did Hardin. If Carey’s next regular season is a winning one, he will join that elite company.

Friday: Spring Football?

Monday: (4/27): Temple and The NFL Draft

Friday (5/1): 5 Best Next-Tier Wins

Monday (5/4): Suspending Campaigns

Friday (5/8): Virtual Press Conference

Monday (5/11): Recruiting Patterns

Friday (5/15): Smoking Out The Winners


Commitment Issues: The New Norm


A very familiar headline appeared in the papers the other day.

“Matt Rhule Turns Down Colts to Remain at Baylor.”

Familiar, because I’ve seen that headline somewhere before:

“Matt Rhule Turns Down Missouri to Remain at Temple.”

Now, the chances are that Matt Rhule was offered either job are about as good as I being offered the job of replacing Mike Francesa on his highly successful radio show.



Yeah, right after I turned down WFAN’s offer to replace Mike Francesa.

It was just floated out there, maybe not by Rhule, but by his agent to make him look better returning to his other positions.


These two unfortunately are a dying breed

This is the new norm in college football these days and that’s one of the two reasons that college football is harder to get into for me with each passing year.

Commitment Issues.

Gone are the days when a great coach like Wayne Hardin can stay at Temple for 13 years or the days when Joe Paterno plants his flag down in State College and turns down being a millionaire as head coach of the New England Patriots for lesser pay and a chance to build something at Penn State.

Money talks and bullbleep walks, as the late-night TV commercial used to say.


Wayne Hardin, talking about Temple in 1976

The other reason—lack of a true all-inclusive national championship—has been covered in this space in the past and I don’t see that as changing any time soon, either.

Today, though, is about Rhule.

My issue with him was these proclamations of lifelong fidelity to Temple and then to turn around and leave the team that made him millions for Baylor and not even coach the bowl game. That was his decision and, while I didn’t agree with it, I have to respect it.

The bottom line for Rhule is that he gave Temple a great 10 years and if he felt that he had to leave before the bowl game, that should be his decision. God bless him and I hope he has a great career, but the latest dalliance with the NFL makes me think he’s got second thoughts about the mess he’s gotten into at Baylor. It’s a similar situation to Al Golden at Miami, who gave Temple a great five years.

Hopefully, both will straighten things out and have solid careers. Funny thing is they could have had good-paying jobs at Temple for life with a fraction of the headaches.

Maybe it’s something for Geoff Collins to think about.

Friday: Five Unanswered Questions

Monday: The Coaching Shuffle


Departures And Arrivals

There have been two visceral reactions to my learning of the departure of the last two Temple head football coaches and both occurred while listening to the radio and driving in my car.

The first came when Steve Addazio left and Harry Donahue broke in with the news on the 5:45 p.m. sportscast at KYW with these words: “There has been a coaching change at Temple … “ That perked me up a little because there is never a coaching change at Temple. I thought it might be Tonya Cardoza or some other minor sports coach moving on but instead Harry followed that slight pause with “Steve Addazio is headed to Boston College.”


Hiring an assistant can go one of two ways.

As I made the left turn on Susquehanna Road near the Rydal train station, reaction was pure joy, pounding on the steering wheel and yelling, “Yes, yes, yes!!!”  That also had something to do with Temple never firing head coaches and I felt that Addazio would have to have many 4-7 seasons, not just the one he was coming off of, to be let go at Temple.

I did not want to live through that misery again, and Addazio’s future at Temple had a Ron Dickerson, Jerry Berndt and Bobby Wallace type quality written all over it.

On Tuesday, though, turning into the parking lot at work, the guy on one of the sports talk radio stations said at 11:40 this morning: “This just in: is reporting that Matt Rhule is leaving for Baylor.” The reaction had nothing to do with joy or sorrow and was just a knowing sigh.


I knew this was going to happen last year with the Missouri dalliance when Rhule said he will always listen. I knew it was going to happen when he told a reporter who goes by the name “New Jersey Mike” in June that he cannot make promises, ostensibly to stay at Temple, and I really came to grips with it on Saturday when he told a press conference this telegraphed sentence: “It was a pleasure to have coached these kids.”

Notice the “have coached” part of that statement, which meant, at least to me, that he was not coaching the bowl game.  That’s OK, too, because the sanctions under which he will have to work with are crippling enough. He needs to recruit for Baylor and someone else needs to keep the current Temple recruiting class together (maybe Francis Brown).

I wrote Matt an old-fashioned handwritten letter upon returning home from work and placed it in the neighborhood mailbox after working out at the gym. I hope he gets it:

Dear Matt,

Thank you for giving me last Saturday, the very best of many great days I have spent as a Temple football fan over the last 40 or so years. Thank you for the way you and your wonderful players represented this terrific university and I wish you and your family many similar joyous days like Saturday in the not-too-distant future.

Good Luck,

Mike Gibson

That deals with the departure part of it, and now we get to the arrival area. To me, the university needs to no longer roll the dice with the hiring of an assistant coach. Being an assistant is not the same as being a head coach. It is a totally different job. You can be a great assistant and a terrible head coach. The world is littered with such examples. UConn found that out the hard way by hiring the “hottest” assistant coach available in Bob Diaco and that hiring turned out to be a train wreck.

NO MORE ASSISTANT COACHES. I don’t care if they are hot assistants, cold assistants, lukewarm assistants. Temple University should hire a proven winning head coach who has done it for multiple years at the FBS level, preferably at Temple University.

Al Golden, who has won here as a HEAD COACH, knows how to win and recruit here, is available and the current tight ends coach with the Detroit Lions. Ask yourself if you would rather coach the tight ends at the Lions or be head coach at Temple. He was 32-25 as a head coach under brutal sanctions at Miami and got fired for not achieving unrealistic expectations. He, above all other people, knows the grass is not always greener on the other side of the 10th and Diamond fence. If Golden can make written assurances with an astronomical buyout that guarantees a longer second stay, he is, as Bill Bradshaw wrote on that yellow legal pad in 2005: “Our guy.”

Thursday: Finished Business

Penn State Week: Debunking The Myths

A good recap of Temple’s single-digit tough guy tradition.

Since Al Gore invented the internet (relax, just kidding), one of the quickest ways to get a pulse of a fan base is to visit one of these ubiquitous college football message boards.

Penn State has one of the best in its Blue White Illustrated McAndrew Board, a Wild Wild West of insults, flames and trolls but, mostly, a place to hold the hand of the Nittany Lions’ fans and look at a stopwatch to gauge their heartbeat.

If you do not take them seriously, a few minutes reading what these fans are thinking can be wildly entertaining.


Matt Rhule pointing the way to PSU.

Most of them think Penn State will steamroll Temple and that faulty logic is based on a number of unrelated thoughts floating around in their heads they accept as doctrine. One, in their collective minds, Temple is nowhere near as good as last year. Two, if Army can rush for 329 yards against Temple, so can Penn State.

Before debunking those notions, here is a pretty good sampling of the way the fans are viewing Temple’s visit to Beaver Stadium (noon, Big Ten Network) on Saturday:

AWS1022  (PSU fan)

   “ We aren’t losing to Temple and I’m not sure how anyone who watched the game today would think so. Temple is worse than last year by a lot and we’re better than we were last year. If you think Temple would beat Pitt you’re crazy and I doubt we have 5 turnovers again next week. …”

Greenpeach (Pitt fan):

“You beat Temple by at least two touchdowns. Honestly, after a horrible start, I thought your team looked poised and played very well.”

You could find about 1,000 posts over there expressing similar sentiments using different words. There are a couple of things wrong with that line of thinking.

Temple is only “worse” to people who do not know any better. The people who do, the Temple coaches and the Temple fans, feel this is a better team than the one the school fielded last year. The results of the Army game do not change that. That game is an outlier because the Temple coaches do not know how to scheme against the triple option and they never really did. Temple gave up the A gaps and fullback dives all night. (Memo to Phil Snow: 44 stack, nose guard, two tackles in the A gaps and no triple option gouges you ever again.) Unless Penn State comes out and runs the triple option, gives to a nonexistent fullback, the Owls match up very well against the Nittany Lions.

Pitt had eight plays
of 20 or more yards
against Penn State.
The week before,
the Panthers had
ZERO plays of 20
or more yards, and
that was against
Yes, Villanova
which is quite possibly
worse than Stony Brook.

The result of the Penn State game probably will be an affirmation of it. Here are a couple more facts to ponder: Kent State gave the Nits a game for the better part of three quarters on the road. Kent State lost to North Carolina A&T last week. Yes, A&T. At home. Pitt had eight plays of 20 or more yards against Penn State. The week before, the Panthers had ZERO plays of 20 or more yards, and that was against Villanova. Yes, Villanova  which is quite possibly worse than Stony Brook.

First off, to the casual outsider, the losses of linebacker Tyler Matakevich, tackle Matt Ioannidis, corner Tavon Young and wide receiver Robby Anderson are insurmountable. The Temple fan, the guy who pours over depth charts 365 days a year, knows better. Matakevich is not replaced by one player, but by three linebackers who have 41 starts between them. Two of them are repeat single-digit players, meaning they were among the nine toughest guys on the team last year as well. Because of the play of corners Nate Hairston and Artrel Foster, who both saw plenty of time last year, Tavon Young’s loss is replaceable. Moving the other corner, Sean Chandler, to the middle of the field has accentuated his ball skills and made the secondary better. Ioannidis is replaced by the deepest and fastest defensive line Temple has ever fielded. So much so that the defensive end who made the play of the game in a 27-10 win over Penn State a year ago, Sharif Finch, is now second team through no fault of his own but because the Owls have beasts on both ends, Haason Reddick and Praise Martin-Oguike, the latter who had an interception in the Notre Dame game.

To the know-it-alls on the opposing fan message boards, these players do not exist. On game day, they will wonder where they came from and wish they had paid closer attention to what Temple really has coming back.

In five days, they will learn the hard way.

Wednesday: 5 Keys For Beating Penn State

Friday: The Rivalry Arrives

Saturday: Game Analysis

The Listerine Bowl

Sometimes it’s hard to taste the fruit when the mouth has a sour taste in it, so consider today’s 38-0 win over Stony Brook The Listerine Bowl.

Stony Brook is not that bad, and Temple is probably not as bad as it showed against Army. Still, the loss a week ago left a bad taste in the mouths of Temple fans and, on my way out, I heard a surprising number of fans say they will never come back again. For those who did come back, that sour taste now has been rinsed for awhile.


For the others, the 12,000 or so who did not return this week but were there last week, they cannot be blamed.

That’s the price of not being prepared for a triple-option team when you had nine months to prepare for one. That game is over now and there is no way to get either it back or a good portion of the 34,005 fans who attended the Army game. Earlier this week, in a post I titled “Unintended Consequences” I wrote the Owls would be lucky to draw 22,000 for Stony Brook. Make it 22,256, which was the official attendance. In a 70K stadium, 22,256 looks small and it was.

Maybe if the Owls beat Penn State and take a very good record into USF, we will see 34,005 again but I doubt it—at least this year. As the editor of Pravda likes to say, it is what it is.

Saturday, we learned a lot of things, but mostly we got the bad taste out of our mouths. Here are a few of the things:

  • Logan Marchi, not Frank Nutile, is the backup quarterback. Marchi was the first quarterback in after Phillip Walker left the game.
  • Redshirts were burned all over the place, including Benny Walls, who got an interception, Karamo Dioubate, who put good pressure on the quarterback, and Isaiah Wright, who looks like he possesses the “it” factor as an offensive threat. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing. If your recruiting is good enough to get players who can play right away, that’s the idea.
  • Walker says Jahad Thomas will be back for the Penn State game. That is the best news of all because, as good as Ryquell Armstead is, he is not capable of stopping in the middle of the field at full throttle and doing a 360-degree spin to get away from defenders. Thomas is, and he did that in two games last year (UCF and UConn). Thomas is a game-breaking talent and he will be needed against Penn State.
  • Stony Brook beat a North Dakota team that won at FBS Wyoming last year. North Dakota gave Bowling Green all it could handle yesterday and Bowling Green is usually pretty good. Beating a team like Stony Brook, 38-0, should be a confidence-builder but, for the Owls to re-establish their brand, they must win at Penn State next week.

It won’t be easy, but it is doable—unless James Franklin comes out in a triple option.

Monday: Penn State Week

Survive And Advance

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Boston College

A year ago,  Jordan Gowins (34) was running the ball for Steve Addazio at BC. Saturday, he will be running against TU. Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

One of my good friends is a great FCS official, warned me in the early part of the summer: “Mike, watch out for Stony Brook. Chuck Priore has a pretty good head on his shoulders.”

Consider myself warned.

In many respects, Priore’s career mirrors that of Matt Rhule in that both have one win over Army (SB’s was 23-3, 2012) and both have had one 10-win season. The difference, other than the obvious FBS and FCS designations, is that Priore literally brought the Seawolves up from the very bottom of college football. Starting as the team’s head coach in 2006, Priore had only 20 scholarships to offer and now has 63—that is quite a bit fewer than what Temple has, which offers 25 every season.

The thought process among many Temple fans is that the Owls are going to smoke Stony Brook. That might happen, it might not. My thought process is a little different. Remember, Stony Brook opened with a 16-9 win over a North Dakota team that beat FBS member Wyoming on the road last season.

For Temple, it’s got to be survive and advance because a loss means this season is done. There is no reasonable person who believes that Temple can open with losses to Army and Stony Brook and win the AAC. As Spock would say, it’s just not logical.

Priore has a good
offensive mind and
probably will try the
counters, deep throws
to stretch the field,
reverses and traps
the Owls eschewed
against Army in one
of the most boring
offensive game plans
I have ever seen in my
40 years as a Temple fan

I was against scheduling this game because, if you win it, it’s “meh.” If you lose it, you will hear Temple sucks for the entire next week and have no acceptable comeback. For me, Temple should always avoid the “too much to lose” games. That’s the athletic director’s job, though. The coach’s job is to win it and that is that is why Matt Rhule is making $1.5 million. He’s got to get the job done.

Stony Brook not only beat No. 19 North Dakota last week, it beat No. 13 New Hampshire last season. It is used to beating good football teams. The Seawolves have nine FBS transfers, so at least nine players have played significant time against opponents on a par with Temple. They have an All-American offensive tackle in Timon Parris (6-5, 310), who lines up on the left side. The two guards are P5 transfers, Mason Zimmerman (Maryland) and Jonathan Haynes (West Virginia). Running back Jordan Gowins (Boston College) is a talent.

Priore has a Philadelphia connection, having served as the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania from 1992 to 1999. During Priore’s time at Penn, the Quakers compiled an impressive record of 52-27, including three Ivy League titles and a 24-game winning streak. In 1998, the Penn offense set a school record for points in a season with 297.

He is the older brother of the current Penn coach, Ray Priore.

Despite scoring only a special team’s touchdown last week, Priore has a good offensive mind and probably will try the counters, deep throws to stretch the field, reverses and traps the Owls eschewed against Army in one of the most boring offensive game plans I have ever seen in my 40 years as a Temple fan.

Hopefully, the snooze fest ends for the Owl fans this week in a 49-10 type win, but I will sign for a 16-9 Temple win right now because the alternative is too horrid to even think about and the coach on the other side of the field has a head on his shoulders he uses for more than a hat rack.


Saturday (posted by 10:30 p.m.): Game Analysis

Monday: Penn State Week

Wednesday: Rolling Pocket

Friday: Penn State Preview

Camp Rhule


One of the tried and true methods of keeping young people out of trouble is getting to them young. There are all sorts of educational programs directed at young people and some of them really work. Heck, when I was a freshman in high school, we had a heroin addict come in and speak to us in the auditorium. His story was so scary that I never even had as much as a cigarette.

There is positive reinforcement, too, as an incentive for young people. In a football sense, Camp Matt Rhule—officially called the Matt Rhule Football Camp—is one of them.

Temple is lucky to have a guy like Rhule, who rolls up his sleeve and gets to the recruits while they are young and impressionable.

Rhule recently tweeted over 2,200 students and prospective athletes interested in Temple attended camps on campus this year. In between camps, Rhule has made trips to Virginia Tech and the Air Force Academy to pick the brains of the head coaches there.


One of the drills at the MRFC.

Temple fans know Rhule is a workaholic, but the level of offseason commitment to the program should pay off during the regular season. Short term, the trip to AFA should help the Owls prepare for Army’s triple option on the night of Sept. 2. Long term, the camps are giving young people the idea that Temple’s campus, program and facilities are top notch and that should pay off dividends.

The Owls have come a long way from the time where Bobby Wallace would vacation three—some say more—months of the year in Gulf Shores, Alabama, all while collecting a Temple paycheck.

There is a direct correlation between winning in the offseason of winning in the real season, and Owl fans have to feel good about what their head coach is doing this offseason.

Monday: What Temple’s TV schedule means

Wednesday:  Differences Between Al and Daz

Friday: New Approach for Army

5 Under-The-Radar Guys

Matt Rhule talks about big things ahead for Temple football.

The day started at 8 a.m. with a live two-and-a-half hour show from the Edberg-Olson facility and ended with a flat tire outside of Buffalo Wild Wings in Northeast Philadelphia. As Ice Cube says when he doesn’t have to use his AK, today was a good day. Karamo Dioubate got the flat tire and that had to deflate the crowd of over 200 who came to see him. Once the tire was inflated, Dioubate—a four-star defensive lineman from Prep Charter—pumped up the crowd by announcing he would come to Temple. Just a great recruiting day for Matt Rhule and Temple.


Rivals’ updated recruiting rankings as of 10 a.m. Thursday morning.

Dioubate had offers, not just interest, from Penn State, South Carolina, Rutgers and Temple. Watching his film, it is pretty apparent that he can skip the redshirt year and go right into making plays all over the field. Dioubate, you know about. These five guys, you might not.

  1. Sam Franklin, DB, 6-3, 200

We haa a Benjamin and a Franklin now, both Sams. Franklin is coming and Benjamin is going as No. 10, Sam Benjamin, announced his was transferring to Rhode Island. Franklin is arriving from Inverness, Fla. He played at Citrus High and probably will play DB for the Owls.


  1. Shaun Bradley, LB, 6-2, 220

Bradley, unlike the other “Shawn” Bradley who made it to Philadelphia, is not 7-foot-7. Unlike that Bradley, he is very coordinated. Bradley is a mid-year enrollee who played running back and defensive back at Rancocas Valley (N.J.) High. He brings big-time speed to the LB position, as evidenced by his RB numbers his senior year at RV: 1,467 yards and 22 touchdowns.

  1. Quincy Roche, DL, 6-4, 210

Played defensive line and tight end at New Town High in Owings Mills, Md. He broke the school record in sacks with 19 and was part of the state championship team in basketball. He has the kind of size, speed and athleticism to get to the quarterback and projects as a 2017 starter.  Will have to put on some weight to play the line, so could be a redshirt candidate.

  1. Chris Tucker, DE, 6-3, 245, Jackson

Played fullback and defensive end for head coach Blake Butler at Trinity Christian Academy in Jackson, Tenn. and, as a senior, racked up 79 total tackles, 52 solo, with 16 tackles for loss. Looking at his film, he seems to instinctively come off blocks which might account for the 16 tackles in the enemy’s backfield.

  1. Steve Petrick, TE, 6-5, 230, Norwin High

Anyone who looks at a photo of Steve and former Temple tight end Steve Manieri will do a double-take. They look like the same person. On the field, they look very much like the same player. Manieri came to Temple at 6-5, but he had to spend years in the weight room to bulk up to 230. Petrick is already there. Manieri made it to the NFL. With the same kind of work ethic, this Steve can, too.

Tomorrow: The WRs Lost and Found