Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hard to pick an MVP from this class ... now

Right now, P.J. Walker looks like your 2014 starting quarterback.

Not many people know this, but there was once a quarterback who won a Maxwell Award at Temple.
Now, after a nearly 40-year wait, there is a second.
"Hard to believe, Harry."
That might be the way current Temple radio color guy Steve Joachim would tell the story to play-by-play guy Harry Donahue.

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Temple head coach Matt Rhule will be tweeting the announcement of each signee during the morning as their letters arrive.
To be part of the action, follow him on twitter @CoachMattRhule.
Rhule will discuss the 2013 recruiting class in a 3 p.m. media conference, which is not open to the public. TFF has not received an invite, so we'll be watching the press conference LIVE on Owlsports.com before heading out to the TU basketball game.
Joachim was the Maxwell Award winner for the 1974 college football season, emblematic of the nation's best college football player.
Signing on the dotted line heading a solid class today is the second Maxwell Award-winner in Temple history, an incoming freshman quarterback by the name of P.J. Walker.
Walker's Maxwell came for being the New Jersey Player of the Year for unbeaten Elizabeth.
Walker doesn't remind me as much of Joachim as he does former Temple quarterback Henry Burris. Watching the film at the top of this post I had a similar reaction when former Temple coach Ron Dickerson showed me film of Spiro (Okla.) High School quarterback Burris.
My gosh, I thought. Same throwing style, same motion, as Henry Burris.
Same deadly accuracy. Walker is a little better runner than Henry was, but Henry has three Canadian Football Most Valuable Player awards on his mantlepiece.
We'll see how P.J. develops. He better get there fast since he's the only QB on the 2014 depth chart.
Walker could be the MVP of this class, but so could Jim Cooper, Jr., the first All-American kicker ever signed by Temple. His dad, also Jim Cooper, once kicked a 38-yard field goal to help Temple beat West Virginia. Son, also from Mainland, N.J., holds the New Jersey record for career field goals.
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Speaking about beating West Virginia, another MVP from this class could be running back Zaire Williams, from Timber Creek, N.J. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder with 4.49 40 speed gave a glimpse of his big-time ability while playing for Cherokee two years ago. He finished with 42 carries and 386 yards (and six touchdowns) in a game against Cherry Hill East. Maybe he'll break Montel Harris' single-game Owl record (351, seven touchdowns).
Williams could be the MVP of this class.
So could two-time state heavyweight wrestling champion Averee Robinson, who once had six sacks in one game for Susquehanna Township while playing every position along the defensive line.
Shane Rafter (76) casts a rather large shadow.

Robinson comes from good bloodlines. His brother is a former Owl, Adrian Robinson, now with the Steelers.
I once told Adrian's dad, also Adrian, that the Owls were playing that Robinson out of position, that  he should have been an outside linebacker but that they needed him as a "rush" end to get pressure on the quarterback. Both Adrians understood. Still, Arob was a natural OLB.
This Robinson won't be playing out of position. He's a natural nose tackle in a 3-4 AND a natural DT in a 4-3.
Since he is a state wrestling champion, maintaining gap leverage in a 3-4 should make him especially effective there.
Buddy Brown is one of the best linebackers in the state of New Jersey, so he could be MVP of this class or mabye it could be his Williamstown teammate Jullian Taylor, a transfer from Abington (Pa.). Camden Catholic middle linebacker Jarred Alwan so also highly rated, so it could be him as well.
Or it could be someone else, like Harrisburg's Brian Carter or Meadville defensive back Artrel Foster or offensive linemen like Shane  Rafter (Moorestown, N.J.) or one of the two Montour linemen, Tyler Haddock-Jones or Matt Barone.
I've got an idea.
Let's wait until the Temple football banquet four years from now and decide then.
The fact that there are so many in this group in the discussion at this point only bodes well for the future of Temple football.
What's that Steve Joachim said?
Hard to believe, Harry.

Complete analysis of the class, with photos, up by Thursday afternoon