As much as Adam Klein loves the game of football, he enjoys the camaraderie that comes with the sport even more. Whether it’s 10 p.m. film sessions with younger teammates or a phone call from a fellow offensive lineman early in the morning, Klein is the epitome of a team player.
The graduate offensive lineman has spent five seasons as a varsity player and four seasons as a full-time starter on Temple’s line. The 2022 single-digit recipient has faced more than his fair share of adversity throughout his life, but it was this family that helped him through the struggles to find success.
For Klein, there is no team more important than his inner circle, which is made up of teammates and family members alike.
“A big thing of mine was commitment and loyalty,” Klein said. “I made a commitment to Temple five years ago that I was gonna stay and no matter if it got bad or how great it was, I wasn’t gonna leave. I was really a big fan of the relationships I had built at Temple with my friends, and still being close to home.”
As a 13-year-old football player, Klein bonded with his father through the game as they enjoyed watching games on television or playing outside together. His dad, Kurt, passed away in 2013, but Klein remained driven, knowing football kept him connected with his father.
Kurt taught him dedication, which is the characteristic that kept Klein at Temple all five years despite receiving interest from Power-5 programs like Virginia.
“It was a strong bond between his dad and football,” said Klein’s mom, Patti. “I think losing his dad, football keeps him close to him. It gives him the drive to try to achieve the best that he can in football.”
Klein received a mini-camp invite with the NFL’s Washington Commanders and remains motivated to utilize his experience and keep working towards his dream of playing or working in professional football.
The two-year captain was a mainstay offensive tackle ever since he received the starting nod on Sept. 20, 2018, against Tulsa. However, he moved to center to fill a hole in Temple’s offensive line in 2022 for new head coach Stan Drayton.
The transition from offensive tackle to the interior offensive line was not easy, but Klein knew he wanted the team to win. Despite Drayton being Klein’s third coach at Temple, his passion never waivered.
“He was the guy that stepped up during the transition of having a new coach,” said senior offensive lineman Wisdom Quarshie. “He helped bring the team together and commanded leadership in a way that many people can’t do.”
Quarshie saw the importance of friendship to Klein firsthand, who remained committed to connecting with his teammates through losing seasons, injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic. When people slowly began to lose contact with one another, Klein tried to keep everyone together.
The main way he was able to keep the team united was through the game. Klein walked several blocks to Edberg-Olson Hall to watch game tape with his teammates late at night, one of which was then-freshman quarterback E.J. Warner. Klein utilized his experience to help the young quarterback learn some intricacies of the game.
Although the Owls finished 3-9 in 2022, Klein found excitement in close games, win or lose. He remembers a narrow loss to No. 19 Cincinnati and a victory against Maryland in 2019 like they happened yesterday, pointing to key defensive stops and offensive drives as some of his favorite collegiate memories.
“It was a lot of fun just being in those close games,” Klein said. “Even some of those games that are really close in my career that we ended up losing, those are the games you love to play in.”
Although Klein’s Temple Football career is over, he’ll remain at the university to pursue his master’s degree in sports business and is preparing for a life beyond football. He hopes his versatility translates to endeavors off the field too, with training or coaching potentially on the horizon.
The same 13-year-old kid who was taught how to love the game continues to make football his dream.
“He had hard-nosed leadership, committing to everything,” Quarshie said. “He had a ‘put the team first’ mindset.”