The Temple University football team has tried to put themselves on the Big East map, and with seemingly only two years left in the conference they hope they now have the talent to compete with some of the best teams in the country.
Temple University received 28 national letters of intent last Wednesday, the first day that college football teams were allowed to sign new players.
With the Big East decision looming over the University, the Owls decided to take the route of signing players out of Junior Community Colleges.
Overall they signed 23 players out of JUCOs, including All-America selections and players that were recruited heavily by big conferences like the Southeastern Conference or Big 12.
“This was a plan that we put into progress right after signing day last year,” said coach Bobby Wallace about signing JUCO kids.
“We concentrated on Junior College players for a couple of reasons, the one obvious one is our Big East situation, and we thought we could get a better athletes out of the Junior College ranks.”
Since most of these players have only two years of eligibility left, some healthy competition has been created going into spring drills and next season.
The Owls lost 22 combatants from last years squad, but that includes Big East Defensive payer of the year Dan Klecko, the school’s second all-time rushing leader Tarnardo Sharps and the all-time pass receptions leader Sean Dillard.
That brought about the signing of wide receiver Phil Goodman (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) from Sacramento Community College, running back Isaac Redman (6-0, 205lbs.) from Paulsboro High School in New Jersey, and highly recruited quarterback Walter Washington (6-2, 246lbs.) from Dodge City (Kan.) Community College.
Wide receiver Andre Mixon was the last JUCO player to sign.
“We have All-Americans, we have high school record breakers, and Junior College All-Americans,” Wallace said.
“This is by far the best group of athletes that we have ever recruited.”
All of these athletes have impressive resumes, Goodman was an All-California Community College First Team All-America, making 79 catches for 1,272 yards and 10 touchdowns in nine games last season.
Rivals.com ranked him as high as the third best wide receiver and 19th overall of JUCO players.
Redman comes to Temple trailing cousin, former Temple star Kevin Harvey, as the all-time scorer from South Jersey.
For his career he rushed for 5,284 yards, 93 touchdowns and amassed 566 points. In the state championship last year he scored five times.
Washington was a NJCAA First Team All-America and runner-up for National Player of the Year in 2002.
He threw for 1,464 yards and 13 touchdowns, and also ran for 708 yards.
Other interesting names on the list of recruits are related to some of Philadelphia’s more famous community members.
Pete McBride, (5-10, 171 lbs.) a defensive back out of East Central Community College (Miss.) is the cousin of Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Todd Pinkston. McBride was clocked at 4.37 in the forty-yard dash and played both sides of the ball last season.
The other is the son of boxer Randall “Tex” Cobb, Linebacker Joshua Cobb (6-4, 245) out of Eastwood High School in Texas.
“There will be obvious competition on the football field in August when this group comes in, ” Wallace said.
“I think the character of this football signing group is excellent, and I am very pleased with them.”
Matt Sitkoff can be reached at Phil14367@aol.com