Temple football looks to have a bounce back year after a tough start in the Matt Rhule era. The Owls finished 2-10 overall with a dismal record of 1-7 in the American Athletic Conference. But the best thing about sports is when a new season arrives, the slate is wiped clean, and Rhule’s squad is looking to get Temple football back on the map.
After bringing in a good recruiting class for the 2014 season, as well as new play callers to the coaching staff, the Owls look to use this as a springboard into the 2014 season. Marcus Satterfield will enter his first season calling the offensive plays for Temple after being assistant head coach last year. Adam DiMichele will be the new wide receivers coach when the season kicks off against the Commodores of Vanderbilt. DiMichele played football for the Owls where he is fourth in school history with 5,024 passing yards.
Who can Temple fans look for to become impact players out of this year’s recruits? Here is my list of the top five newcomers:
- Aaron Ruff-OL
- Sean Chandler-DB
- Matthew Eaton-WR
- Jaelin Robinson-OL
- Anthony Davis-DB
The player who I see making a quick impact for this football team is Aaron Ruff. Ruff, who is graduating from Imhotep Institute, which is located just 5 miles from Temple’s main campus turned down offers from Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Michigan State. Coming in at 6-5, 280 pounds, look for Aaron to be the anchor on the offensive line protecting QB P.J. Walker. In high school he showed that he could move any DT in his way. Fans should look forward to seeing this young man as one of the bright spots in Temple’s future.
Sean Chandler, who will be coming to Temple from right across the Ben Franklin Bridge in Camden, could be a big player for one of the weaker spots that hindered Temple in 2013. Chandler who is 5-10, 175-pounds, received one other offer from Rutgers in his home state of New Jersey. He also was noted as one of the standouts at one of Penn State’s camp back in June of last year. Owls fans can look for Chandler to change the integrity of Temple’s secondary which struggled mightily last year, especially late in games.
Having tall WR on any football team is a plus. Temple was able to snag three WR’s who are 6-3 or taller. One of those kids is Matthew Eaton, a 6-5 wide receiver from Pascagoula, MS. Eaton originally committed to play his college football at Appalachian State, he then took back his commitment and took an official visit at Temple. Not too long after his visit Matthew signed his letter of intent to play football for Matt Rhule and the Temple Owls. Eaton will be able to add height to a wide receiver core that is not too tall. Temple’s top WR from last year Robbie Anderson will no longer be with the team, putting a lot of the burden on senior Jalen Fitzpatrick. Having Easton at 6-5 it offers a taller option for QB P.J. Walker.
As if having Aaron Ruff as a possible star on Temple’s offensive line was not enough, Temple also signed 6′-8” 318-pound offensive lineman Jaelin Robinson. Robinson hails from New Haven, CT where he played high school football at Wilbur Cross. It is safe to say this young man was able to move players attempting to sack his quarterback. Look to see the same out the big man when he gets his shot to play for Matt Rhule and the Owls.
The sleeper pick out of Temple’s 2014 recruitment class I believe is Anthony Davis from Gateway High School in Monroeville, PA. The 5-11 defensive back revived a lot of different offers from schools such as West Virginia, Pitt and Penn State. All of which are close to where he played in high school, instead he chose to come across the state of PA and play in Philadelphia for Temple. Davis showed that he possesses good speed, ability to read the quarterback and make adjustments when it is needed to. Look for him to also help bolster the core of Temple’s secondary.
Overall, it looks that Temple fared well with the talent that they brought in to help their football program. Playing in the tough American Conference, getting the best recruits you can is a key to success for the Temple Owls football team. Don’t forget to check out Temple’s Cherry and White Spring Game coming up April 26 at Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, PA.