Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Temple as the dream school

You can erase that "WVU commit" line from the tape above for Zaire Williams (video now works in internet explorer, but not Google Crome).

In the past three months, we've heard the quote "Temple is my dream school" from at least three incoming recruits.
I've heard it from one basketball recruit, Josh Brown, and at least two football recruits, first-team All-American kicker Jim Cooper, Jr. and Atlantic City wide receiver Dayshawn Reynolds.
I don't know if its the dream school of Timber Creek three-star running back Zaire Williams, but it certainly looks that way after he flipped his commitment from West Virginia to Temple this morning.

“I don’t know why I started liking Temple but that’s been my dream school forever. I can’t even explain it.”
_Dayshawn Reynolds 

  That might surprise some people, but not me.
Heck, Temple was MY dream school some 40 years ago and I told myself as an 8-year-old kid that  if I ever had a chance to make that happen, I would.
So I did.
When you think of Temple with its unique recruiting advantages, it should not be surprising.
Temple is in the nation's fourth-largest market and within easy five-hour driving distance from 46 percent of the nation's population, which as Mitt Romney can tell you, is nearly half of the nation's football talent.
You can go to school at Temple if you want to be away from home, but close enough that the family can get to more than half of your games.
Plus, surveys have shown over the past 10 years that the general student population wants an "urban" college experience over a "rural" one and Temple is one of the few big-city schools that plays big-time college football. Football players are also part of the general student population and generally want the same thing.

'It's a cool coincidence that my dad went to Temple, but he could have gone to Florida, USC or Alabama and I'd still be going to Temple. I know that's where I want to be.'
_ Jim Cooper Jr.
So urban, check.
Easy driving distance for family, check.
Away from home? Just far enough, check.
A place that regularly puts its players in the Super Bowl? Check.
That makes it a dream destination for a lot of players.
I can remember what made it my dream school because the Temple games were on TV every Saturday night on Channel 17 with Al Meltzer doing the play-by-play and the late Charley Swift doing the color.
I became a fan immediately and begged my dad for the tokens to take three buses to get up to Mt. Airy to see the games.
When Wayne Hardin took over as Temple coach, I made the trek down to his McGonigle Hall office to interview him for the Raiderscope, the Archbishop Ryan student newspaper. I watched as Hardin took Temple from a team that was beating the Bucknells of the world to beating the West Virginias and Syracuses on a regular basis.
The other parts of Temple, from founder Russell Conwell's "Acres of Diamonds" story, the top 10 journalism school, the nationally prominent basketball program, the five-day-a-week Temple News, only made me love it more.
Temple is a dream school because it offers opportunities for those dreams to be realized.
No one can tell you that more than Randy Grossman, a tight end who has three Super Bowl rings.

'I've always loved Temple.'
_ Averee Robinson
Dan Klecko, a WIP radio guy who played football at Temple, used his opportunity to get two Super Bowl rings as a player for different teams (Colts, Patriots).
Bernard Pierce, a running back from the Baltimore Ravens, has that same opportunity this Sunday to achieve a dream. Temple gave it to him.
All three, along with many others in different fields, have proven that if you put in the work at Temple, there are dreams to be realized down the line.
Dream school?
I think that's what Russell Conwell had in mind from the beginning.