Monday, February 22, 2010

How loaded is loaded?

Tom Leonard's cellphone photo of the TU side of the field.
Belated EagleBank Bowl Thoughts
EBB was without a doubt the most memorable TUFB experience in my 18 or so years following the program. My wife and I arrived in DC the night before the game. Hotel was in an excellent downtown location, although under renovation. Spent the night bopping in and out of restaurants and bars.

Numbers of folks dressed in in TU garb and cherry and white climbed as the evening went on. Woke up on gameday with a slight case of the Irish flu, but nonetheless happily pushed on to the Metro station en route to the Armory, where I stepped into a zone of TU pre-game energy of historic proportions. The band, video footage, combination of familiar and new faces, and overall level of downright giddiness for TUFB was delightful. I spoke with TU faculty and administrators, alumni and students, folks with family ties to TU, and some who had no affiliation with TU whatsoever--which I found particularly pleasing. A couple guys behind me in line were from James Madison U. They travelled to DC simply to behold an easily accessible bowl game, and touted that JMU had FBS aspirations. The indoor tailgate was an exceptional experience. Zero regrets. I even got a photo (soon to be framed, with no spousal objection) with the UCLA cheerleaders (ok, technically dance team or pep team or something, but it worked for me).

As gametime neared, I strategically applied the lasted techno heating elements into shoes and pockets; checked that tickets were in hand, and hastily gulped down the final Absolute and Cranberry (scotch was unavailable) of the afternoon while working towards the exit. The throngs of fans channeling into RFK was a beauty to behold.

There were a lot of TUFB fans at RFK. A lot. I was especially pleased to see so many unfamiliar, aged faces. These weren't students or die hards, these were Temple folks who have perhaps exhibited sporadic interest here and there but hadn't previously been uniformily motivated. Folks around me were looking in their program for names and asking about "that #22" and posing questions about next year's QB, and such. Novice aside, they displayed the same excitement about TUFB as the rest of us. In a word, refreshing. Prior to the game, I was concerned that perhaps 6 or 7K faithful would show. AG referenced 16K. Not sure where got that figure, but he should know. 16K passes the test, at least my test. We have the coach and the talent, but I questioned the alumni. There is hope.

No reason to comment on the game. Nothing new to share. The experience, however, was novel. And worthy of comment.
Tom Leonard
long-time Temple football fan
"Hootsalotisme" on
If you type in "how loaded is loaded" into a google search engine these days, the first result will be this very thoughtful and well-researched post by MH55 on
Before this post goes into oblivion caused by's limited serving capacity, we thought we would store it here.

MH55 got the idea, I presume, from the night of the bowl party.
Three or four of the boosters who had a chance to speak to Golden that night said that Golden used the words "we're loaded" for next year and followed that up with big cat-eating-the-canary grin.
A knowledgeable Temple football fan knew that before Golden said so, but it's nice to get some affirmation from the top guy.
MH55 did one better, loading up on names and positions.
It was one of two great posts on Temple football this offseason that deserve to be preserved for posterity.
The other was written by Tom Leonard, Hootsalotisme, on the board about the EagleBank Bowl experience.

Here's MH55's in its entirely (quotes around MH55's words):
"I still haven’t heard Al Golden actually say “We’re Loaded” but it sure looks that way when you consider experience, size and talent. Its still hard to believe the caliber of talent AG has amassed when one considers how desperate we were when he took the job and he's operating in a battlezone of BCS Schools. Here's the roster w games played in (XX)

Defensive Line:
Eli Joseph (36)
Kamara (35)
Robinson (25)
Blueford (24)
Wilkerson (24)
Morkeith Brown (21)
Custis (10)
Frenk (1)

Red Shirts

Levi Brown
Shahid Paulhill
Kamal Johnson
Geoffrey Prather
Tyreek Spain

Caray wrestling, honors star, ARob heir
Daniels-keeping talent local
Hush-Sopranos 1st team all state
Newman-PaPreps Predicts Pro
Weaver-will play on TV in summer all star game

P Joseph (27)
Martin (25)
Whitehead (13)
Namude (12)
Q White (10)
M Green (12)
St Johnson

Red Shirts
Van Norton
Zach Kane (U Mia X)

Adewole-Chose Best MAC Offer
Benson-All SEPA LB
N Smith-NJ Friend says a future star

Defensive Backs
Jarrett (37)
Liverpool (37)
Griffin (23)
Gildea (12)
Kroboth (11)
Mo Jones (12)
Falcone (12)
K Johnson (8)
J Williams (2)

Red Shirts
Terrell (2)
Deonte Parker
Byron Parker
M Gould

Burns _ Only had 2 BCS Offers
Goods _ Track Star
Robey _ Speed merchant begins the Norristown pipeline


Charlton (28)
Stewart (20)
Gerardi (1)

Red Shirts
Bryan Morris

Reilly-Baseball, Brains and Big Plays

Running Backs

Pierce (12)
Brown (11)

Red Shirts
A Smith (6)

Myron Ross-Could be a stud

Balasavage (20)
Rodriguez (13)
Pekarski (1)

Red Shirts
A Jackson
L Turner

T Johnson-Probably lucky to be at Temple Since he didnt Receive any BCS Offers possibly because he committed to Temple or maybe he's just a mediocre player that we shouldn't even mention

Wide Receivers
D Green (37)
Crudup (33)
Campbell (31)
Nixon (25)
Jones (25)
Hutchinson (18)
Bynum (14)
Carraway (9)
Hammond (1)

Red Shirt
Anthony Parker Boyd (North Car X)
Ryan Alderman
R Streater JuCo

Belt-our Andre Rison?
Coble-No to Tobacco Road
Miller-Superb Athlete
Shine-Cali Find
Silvera-BE Capable Temple Ready

Offensive Line
Morris (32)
Madison (28)
Dennis (27)
Tribue (25)
Sean Boyle (25)
Palumbo (22)
Caputo (19)
Brown (17)
Pat Boyle (17)
Schonnbruner (9)
Whittingham (4)
Yuan (1)

Red Shirts
Martin Wallace (Northeastern X) 6’6 295
Scott Roorda 6’3 318
Cody Bohler 6’7 305
Evan Regas 6’4 313
Sean Pearson 6’5 312
Daryl Pringle 6’6 315

Centapiempo 6’7 315 Just started FB for Kicks
Grant 6’6 340-Fork Union Crusher
Metz 6’5 310-1st local OL/ BCS Talent to choose TU
Walton 6’4 320-One Bad Ass Chef"

It should be noted that the above words from the first quote to the last quote were all MH55's. He was speaking sacastically about TE recruit Tyler Johnson, a rebuff to a small minority of Temple fans who think anybody who doesn't have a boatload of BCS offers isn't any good.
EBB experience continues at the Linc:
Get your season tickets now

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The ABCs of Temple football recruiting

By Mike Gibson
If you listen to coach Al Golden, and I try to do that every chance I get, whether it's on signing day or Fan Fest or Cherry and White day, whenever, you will become conversant in what I call Goldenspeak.
"Core values" ... you'll hear that a lot.
"Going forward" ... that's another favorite catch phrase of his, so is "it's all part of the process."
There are a few more, but I won't write a Golden/English Dictionary here.
The point being that before all of that, Golden came up with a phrase he thought enough of to put on the wall at Edberg-Olson Hall.
"Hunting a MAC title with local talent."
It's become a core value, if you will, of the program, err, going forward. So much so that it has appeared in the school's football media guide the past few years.
What you won't hear Golden say is that he's going after this Holy Grail, this MAC title, with BCS-level talent.

"Let's face it, guys, Temple is a Big East team playing in the MAC. Their talent level made us look like a high school team."
_ Akron fan's post on
after Temple's 56-17 win last year
If Hunting for a Title with Local talent is the program's self-proclaimed headline, then "by the way, we're playing with BCS-level players in a non-BCS league" has to be some kind of subhead.
I know it's not as catchy, but it's true.
It's like the guy wrote on the Akron message board,, after Temple thumped Akron, 56-17, last year.
"Let's face it, guys," the long-time Akron fan said, "Temple is a Big East team playing in the MAC. Their talent level made us look like a high school team."
The implication was clear and so were the on-field results.
While Akron might beat out Kent State or a player, Temple is beating out Vanderbilt.
While Kent State might beat out Ohio for a player, Temple is beating out Maryland and Michigan State.
You only need to stop at the A's, B's and C's of the signing brochure to find that out.
I did a story for the Philadelphia Inquirer today on a couple of basketball players from Friends' Central, who received offers from Temple and other big-time schools. Before that goes into the paper, you have to fact-check those claims against the database. will say "yes' if a player has been offered and "no" if he has not. It's a pretty cut-and-dried system, the best there is.
I thought about that while thumbing through the pages of the 2010 signing class brochure the other day.
I followed the same routine Temple's football signees and the claims made in the brochure, with only one or two exceptions, were verified by's system. That's pretty good when talking about 27 incoming freshmen.
Niyi Adewole, a linebacker from Upper Darby, had an offer from Vanderbilt, as did Myron Ross, a running back from Wissahickon.
Antonio Belt, a wide receiver from Forestville, Md., "selected Temple over Maryland and Michigan State."
Wyatt Benson, a linebacker from Haverford School, picked Temple over "Stanford and Pitt."
Brian Burns, a defensive back and former next-door neighor to Benson in Southwest Philly, "selected Temple over West Virginia and Rutgers."
Taray Carey, a defensive end from Whitehall, picked Temple over UConn and Boston College.
Those are just the A's, B's and C's. It's like that all the way down to defensive tackle Dante Weaver, who the brochure says picked Temple over Rutgers and Maryland.
Lsst year, the Owls signed a quarterback, Chris Coyer (pictured), on the night Ohio State extended him a conditional verbal offer (you visit us, we will offer). Temple was on Coyer for months and OSU arrived on the scene in the last day.
Coyer said, basically, "thanks, guys, but no thanks I made my mind up. I'm going to Temple."
Now, after a year of fine-tuning, the Coyer quarterback Stealth Fighter is shined and polished and ready to leave the E-O hanger to wreck havoc on the rest of the MAC.
He could have gone to Ohio State, much like many of his teammates could have gone to more recognized schools.
Good schools with good football programs.
They could have gone anywhere.
They chose Temple.
Bill Cosby, who made that commercial famous some 20 years ago, should be proud.
So should every Temple fan.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Newman: Largest object ever to fly under the radar

There's that old saying, "statistics are for losers."
That's grounded largely in truth, but not always.
I've always said there are two stats that will separate a winner from a loser:
1) Turnovers;
2) Sacks.
Win the second battle and that team is more likely to win the first.
That's why I am heartened most by two of the recent signees in the Temple recruiting class of 2010.
Aaron Hush of Piscataway, N.J. and Jaimen Newman of Matoaca, Va.
Hush you probably know about. He was the Bridgewater Courier-News' defensive player of the year, then took a prep year at Fork Union. His specialty is rushing the passer.
You've probably not heard so much about Newman, who flew under the recruiting radar far enough away from Virginia to glide into North Philadelphia.
It's usually impossible for someone 6-4, 254 to fly under a radar, but this could be a first.
In people like Newman, Hush and Taray Carey (Whitehall), I'm confident the Owls will find someone who can help MAC defensive player-of-the-year Adrian Robinson collapse the pocket. One of those guys will step in and free Amara Kamara to go back to his more natural position of linebacker.
Bring mayhem to the football in September, err, hem. That collapses the pocket, creates a nervous quarterback, who either fumbles or throws the ball up for grabs.
Then I'll be able to show you what kind of stats are for winners.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Now factor beats wow factor any day

By Mike Gibson
Just got back from the classy and informative signing day/press conference/fan/film session and I will say this.
There were fewer wows when the film machine was turned on this year than last year.

"I had a nice talk with [Temple coach] Al Golden. He said he knew, just from watching me, that I was a winner."

_ LaSalle quarterback Drew Loughery
... Drew, this is God. Come to Temple (and I don't mean switch religions)...

Since I think what I like to call the defined measureables (height, weight, speed, vertical leap, strength) are every bit as good this year as they were last, I can think of only three reasons for this:
1) We're getting used to viewing spectacular plays on this day every season;
2) The guys holding the camera weren't as good;
3) There wasn't any alcohol served this year (there was last).
I will say last year's biggest oos and ahhs came when the projection screen showed Oakton (Va.) quarterback Chris Coyer and a running back that you might have heard about from Glen Mills named Bernard Pierce.
One got on the field. One didn't.
Both will get on the field this year.
Let's hope both stay healthy and do well.
"Last year, my wife could have picked out Bernard Pierce (as being a player), we knew he was that special," Temple coach Al Golden said.
OK, I'll play Kelly Golden this year.
I can tell you that Rod Streater, a 6-foot-4 wide receiver from Burlington Township (N.J.) by way of Alfred (N.Y.) junior college, is a player.
Really, they all are.
If I had to put a couple of sheckles on it, and I don't (thank God), I would be willing to bet that, of this group, Streater makes an immediate impact.
He can go get the ball, he's a national high jump champion (junior college, 6-9), he's got great hands and he can run like crazy.
Other than that, he's just your normal everyday 6-4 wide receiver.
Yeah, right.
Just like Bernard Pierce is your normal everyday Heisman Trophy candidate.
It was great to see Bernard there, too, with a big smile on his face when assistant coach Ed Foley said of Connor Reilly, "once we get this kid on the field, Bernard won't be getting the ball."
Heck, I think that was a big smile on his face.
Anyway, Bernard looked fit, healthy and happy and that was great to see.
It was also great to hear by way of LaSalle state champion quarterback Drew Loughery that Golden has reached out to him as a preferred walk-on. I hope Temple finds room for Drew Loughery and he them. I've watched this kid for four years and he's every bit the special quarterback Adam DiMichele was and Adam, in my mind, was my favorite Temple quarterback ever.
Just get him on the field and let him compete. That's all I can ask and that's all Drew can ask. He deserves the chance to succeed at the highest level of football in the town that he loves.
That's my soapbox rant for today.
As for the film session, not a whole lot of wows, but there was a lot of talk of now.
Someone asked Al if there's any chance Temple will go to a bowl in a place where there are palm trees next season.
"Palm trees?" Al said, pausing. "I'll do my best."
Both the wow class of last year and the now class of this year should help him do just that.