Ever since the Owls completed their impressive10-4 season with a loss in the Boca Raton Bowl in December, Temple fans were excited to see if their new-found success would translate into a top-notch recruiting class.
Addressing the media Wednesday, Owls head coach Matt Rhulesaid that the 2015 campaign — which saw the team nationally ranked for much of the year, saw two sellouts and saw ESPN College GameDay set up shop in Old City — had a big impact on impressing recruits.
“A significant amount [would notbe here if not for the successful season], Rhule said.”At the end of the day, down the stretch a lot of people try to take our kids but it’s ok, we try to take theirs. A lot of kids sat in the stands at the Penn State game, the Notre Damegame, the Memphis game and saw all the things Tyler[Matekevich]was able to do and they see that this is a big time program thanks to the things last year’s team completed.”
Temple announced formal commitments from 24 players from eight states, with nine of those players hailing from Pennsylvania.
“I feel like we’ve addressed some needs,” Rhule said.”We’ve gotten faster and we have made some inroads in Pennsylvania. This year is probably the strongest we’ve done in Philadelphia. I am excited about what we have done.”
Atop the list of incoming freshman players are Archbishop Wood quarterback Anthony Russo, St. Joe’s prep defensive back Benny Walls and a trio of talented player from Florida led by athletic Sam Franklin.
Among the multitude of recruiting tools Rhule had at his disposal after the best season in recent memory for the Owls was the fact that the team plays its home games at an NFL stadium.
“We go down to the Linc with the lights on and play a highlight film, it’s a great great venue,” the coach said. “A lot of kids were there this year they saw games live. I sure sell that. Right now what we have is an elite elite stadium experience.”
The Owls also have a hot, up and coming program. One that Rhule–who signed a six-year contract extension earlier this winter –says more or less can recruit for itself.
“At the end of the day the most important thing is our players our are greatest ambassadors,” he said.”They see the players paying in All-Star games,going to the NFL combine, they see players in our program having success and they want to have that success as well. It’s easy recruiting at Temple.”