Football team signs 24 players to National Letters of Intent

According to new coach Al Golden, the football team has plenty of perceptions it needs to break in its upcoming season. Golden said the Owls will look to their newest additions to change a team that hasn’t had a winning season since 1990.

Golden announced the Owls’ 2006 recruiting class at the team’s practice facility at Edberg-Olson Hall during a 30-minute press conference Wednesday afternoon.

The Owls signed 24 student-athletes, including 13 on offense and 11 for defense, to National Letters of Intent. Fifteen of the players were captains for their previous teams, Golden said.

Each of Golden’s two-dozen recruits had committed early Wednesday, unlike previous years, where faxes and phone calls would trickle in throughout national signing day.

Golden said that he and his eight-member coaching staff maintained a specific recruiting area, which stretched from Connecticut to Northern Virginia, going as far west as Pittsburgh.

There were two exceptions to Golden’s recruiting area, as the team signed one player from North Carolina and another from Georgia. The coach said these two players “were tremendous students who were drawn to Temple University before they were drawn to the football program.”

Golden added that he was a bit upset that he landed only two players from Pennsylvania, and just one from Philadelphia.

Golden’s pitch to recruits was double-faceted: It involved the amenities of Temple’s Main Campus and the surrounding metropolitan area, and Golden’s strong desire for change. The 36-year-old coach said the football program now has “a clean slate.”

“Think about being in that exchange, [where] you’re the student-athlete and I’m the coach,” Golden said to the media. “You say to me, ‘Well coach, you guys went 0-11 last year.’ That’s very defensible, because I didn’t go 0-11 last year. I wasn’t here.”

None of Golden’s recruits will arrive at Temple having previously played at a junior college. This is a change of pace from last season, when the Owls suited up 28 players who had JUCO experience.

Of the 24 signees, 19 are directly out of high school and five others have an additional year of playing experience on the prep school level.

Christopher A. Vito can be reached at cvitox01@temple.edu.

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