Signing day and must lists for Temple: Running back

Dae Dae Hunter running for Liberty

One of the many tough things about getting older (I refuse to use the word old until about 91) is going to a supermarket with about five items rolling around in my head and realizing while opening the bag when I got home I forgot something.

Had enough of that nonsense sometime during the Pandemic and finally made a list on the “memo” part of my phone before leaving the house.

So far, the system has worked.

Maybe in five more years, I will forget to put something on the phone but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

I thought about this during the “first” Temple signing period when the Owls “forgot” to sign a big-time transfer portal running back. Now the second signing period–which used to be THE SIGNING DAY–is approaching on Wednesday and it will be only then that we figure out if 54, the current age of Temple head coach Stan Drayton, is “older.”

Drayton must have left the house with a running back on that list and returned home after the first signing period saying, “Damn. I knew I forgot something.”

Certainly signing E.J. Wilson–someone who had half the yards of Edward Saydee for a worse team (FIU) than Temple–couldn’t have been the answer to upgrading an area of need for Temple.

During the first go-round Temple could have had Mississippi State’s Dillon Johnson (he went to Washington), Ball State’s Carson Steele (now at UCLA) but either wasn’t interested or involved.

Alfonzo Graham

Does Drayton really believe a running game he didn’t trust to get a first down on third-and-1 against ECU is in good shape going into the 2023 season? Does he really trust a guy with half the yards of his best back to be an upgrade?

Maybe Drayton feels that way. Maybe he doesn’t.

What can’t be debated is even with that first wave of running backs gone, there are still guys who have done demonstrably more than what the Owls have now in terms of yards still remaining in the portal.

The highest-rated undecided left is Dae Dae Hunter from Chander, Arizona, who is rated the No. 11 running back in the portal, ahead of L.J. Johnson (who went from Texas A&M to SMU) and Caziah Holmes, who went from Penn State to Florida State. Chandler is a big rival of Brody Prep (Phoenix) and who was the Brody Prep quarterback two years ago?

None other than E.J. Warner.

Even with E.J. Warner setting school passing records, Temple ranked near the bottom of college football in yards per play. The culprit was the running game or lack thereof.

E.J. Wilson might be the best E.J. running back who committed in the portal but he’s not in the same league as Hunter. Another Arizona guy uncommitted is Alfonzo Graham from Yuma, who is rated the No. 2 overall RB still available in the transfer portal.

To win the league in 2023, Drayton needs Hunter or at least a guy with his skill set. There are only a few days left. Maybe Drayton and Warner can tag team to phones and get Hunter.

Or Graham.

Time to put one or both on the memo part of that phone before turning off the lights and leaving the office on that next portal shopping trip.

Monday: Back to the Future

Friday: Post-Signing Day Reaction

Monday: A Temple Football Ad Money Can’t Buy