Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanks(giving) for a special group of seniors

Derek Dennis, Wayne Tribue, Pat Boyle, John Palumbo are among the seniors on the OL.

One more win and this is the greatest senior class ever.

Some highlights of this class:

  • The 2011 Owl seniors are the winningest four-year class in school history.
  • All but two members of the starting offensive line are seniors.
  • They are the first class in school history to be bowl eligible in three consecutive years.
  • They have won more conference games than any other class in school history
  • They have recorded three consecutive winning seasons and out-scored opponents in four straight seasons.
On the subjects of how quickly time passes and Thanksgiving Day remembrances, we have reached a perfect confluence of that and the Temple University football seniors.
Friday is going to be a sad day for me because I will be seeing a group of seniors wear a Temple uniform for the last time.
It is a reminder of how fleeting life is and how so many players have come and gone but the legacy of this group already is very impressive.
 So I'm officially depressed.
 What do I usually do when I'm depressed?
 Eat a gallon of non-fat yogart?
I'm going to play the lottery on Thursday night, Match 6. Since the numbers only go 1-49, I'm picking the numbers of each of the senior starters on defense (sorry, Morkeith Brown and Stephen Johnson, you are No. 85 and 53) plus two guys on offense. Adrian Robinson (43), Tahir Whitehead (2), Kee-Ayre Griffin (20), Kevin Kroboth (37), Joey Jones (26) and Rod Streater (18). If 2-18-20-26-37-43 come up, I win $900,000 and it'll take a little sting off the next day.
Even as a near-millionaire, there's still going to be some sadness.
This year will be even more depressing because the group includes the following names: TE Matt Balasavage (Lancaster, Pa.), DE Morris Blueford (Chesapeake, Va.), OL Pat Boyle (Towson, Md.), DE Morkeith Brown (Harrisburg, Pa.), OL Derek Dennis (Peekskill, N.Y.), DB Kee-ayre Griffin (East Orange, N.J.), LB Stephen Johnson (Norristown, Pa.), WR Joe Jones (Hollywood, Fla.), DB Kevin Kroboth (Nazareth, Pa.), OL John Palumbo (Lyndhurst, N.J.), DB Deonte Parker (Lakeland, Fla.), DE Adrian Robinson (Harrisburg, Pa.), TE Evan Rodriguez (North Bergen, N.J.), OL Jeremy Schonbrunner (Salisbury, Md.), QB Chester Stewart (Hanover, Md.), WR Rod Streater (Burlington, N.J.), OL Wayne Tribue (York, Pa.), LB Quinten White (Philadelphia, Pa.), and LB Tahir Whitehead (Newark, N.J.).
   A personal note about a couple of guys.
 I feel bad for Rod Streater because I feel he fits the profile of one of those "explosive" players who can make big plays down the field. Same with Joey Jones, who was one of Al Golden's first-high profile recruits out of South Florida. Not getting the ball to Streats and Jones enough at Bowling Green probably cost the Owls a win there.
Adrian Robinson was a four-year starter and MVP of the Big 33 game and defensive MVP of the MAC. He set a terrific example for the Owls behind him by forgoing the pros this year and staying his senior year
Kee-Ayre Griffin was the subject of the only email Al Golden ever sent me. I congratulated Al on his first recruiting class and Al wrote back: "Mike, thanks, but we're going after a guy right now from St. Peter's Prep in North Jersey who would really big a big get. Wish us luck." That guy is Kee-Ayre Griffin, who finally found his way here and was part of the building process from Day One. He was the last recruit of Golden's first year.
    I'll never forget the joy on the face of Morkeith Brown at the bowl selection party and how the entire team surrounded him in celebration (see upper right corner of the logo at the top of the page).
 Adrian Robinson was a four-year starter and MVP of the Big 33 game and defensive MVP of the MAC. He set a terrific example for the Owls behind him by forgoing the pros this year and staying his senior year. The pros will always been there and Robinson enhanced his draft status by staying. You only have four years in college. Cherish them and use all four of them.
Derek "Bone-Crusher" Dennis was a stalwart on the second-best offensive line I've ever seen at Temple and has completely erased the memory of him being the only Temple player in history to tackle another Temple player in the open field (at Army, 2008). Well, maybe not completely because it is a pretty funny memory (and a heckuva tackle of Adam DiMichele, by the way).

I'm going to miss them all, whether they make me a millionaire or not on Thanksgiving.

A special message from Hooter:

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