Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Final month boosts Owls into ']['op spot

The 2012 Temple football recruiting class.

Kevin Newsome was No. 2 PSU QB in 2009.
Well, there were the 2010 baseball Giants and the 1993 Phillies and, now, you can put the 2012 Temple football Owls into that elite group.
All three teams went from worst to first in a very short time.
For the two baseball teams, we're talking about last-place to first-place finishes in pennant races within a 365-day period.
For our beloved football Owls, we're talking about being ranked dead last in MAC recruiting (by as late as November to being ranked No. 1 (by both Scout and
From my money, give me Temple's performance in football as being the most impressive.
Steve Addazio carried the baton to the finish line to grab gold like Carl Lewis in the Olympic 400-meter relay race, getting the No. 7 all-purpose running back in the nation in Jamie Gilmore and Penn State transfer Kevin Newsome (once rated the No. 10 overall recruit in the nation) in the final days.
The last Penn State quarterback who transferred to Temple, Steve Joachim, merely won the Maxwell Trophy emblematic of college football's best player (1974). Here is a trip into the Newsome "way back" machine, if you consider Dec. of 2008 way back.
Robinson: I've always loved Temple.
Throw in Archbishop Wood defensive back Nate Smith, a West Virginia decommit that we talked about here on Saturday night, and the Owls moved to the top with bullet-like speed.
Now I don't put too much emphasis on stars because they are skewed in favor of the big-conference teams but this is the most impressive fact about the current Temple Owl group:
Nineteen (yes, 19) of the 28 turned down offers (not just interest) by BCS schools to attend Temple.
That, my friends, is how you win championships and I expect this group will join the current Owls in winning multiple titles, whether it is in the MAC or the Big East or somewhere else.
This sent me scouring over the recruiting guides I got from attending Al Golden signing days and the highest number of definite BCS turn downs (not including the vague notion of interest) was Al Golden's second recruiting class and that was a harvest of nine.
I'm not sure how Addazio was able to quantify this as "Temple's best recruiting class ever" which he did, but Daz can certainly make a strong argument that this is better than any Golden recruiting class. Best ever might be a little strong, since Temple recruiting classes brought in by Wayne Hardin and Bruce Arians were competing against a high BCS schedule, not one weighed down by eight MAC games a season.

Still, the high school deeds of the playing coming into Temple University take a back seat to no era.
Averee Robinson was 43-0 as a state championship wrestler during his junior year but said "truth be told, I really enjoy football more" and "I've always loved Temple." Do you love this kid or what? With that kind of attitude, it won't be long before he comes out from under brother Adrian's shadow. He's built low to the ground (6-1, 290) but nobody has the kind of leverage he does.
Adrian's number at Temple was 43, the same number of wins Averee had in wrestling last year and the same number of touchdowns Gilmore scored.

Herbin ran away from
the competition in N.J.
Khalif Herbin also scored 36 rushing touchdowns against outstanding competition and averaged a sick 13.1 yards a carry from the line of scrimmage, often while taking off the entire second half because his Montclair (N.J.) team was benefiting from the Mercy Rule. I know they have him listed as a slot receiver, but I'd really like to see Daz give Herbin a shot at running back. Hey, if it worked for 5-5, 150-pound Matty Brown it will work for 5-7, 170-pound Herbin.
This story calls Herbin "arguably the most electrifying player in the state" but I did not get a single argument when I asked a North Jersey colleague who would be the other part of that argument.
"Nobody," he said. "I guess the writer just wanted to use the word arguably but, honestly, there was no close second."
Truth be told, to borrow a phrase from Averee Robinson.

For a complete list of bios and photos click here: