Football coach Al Golden wants to build a winning tradition at Temple.
Receiving a verbal commitment from one of New Jersey’s top high school football players and a nationally ranked prep school quarterback is a nice start.
Anthony Ferla, a running back and defensive back at St. Joseph Regional High in Montvale, N.J., has committed to play under Golden, according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Also, Rivals.com reported that Jarrett Dunston, of Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia, has committed to the Owls.
Per NCAA rules, Golden cannot comment on recruits until they have signed a national letter of intent.
Ferla had also received recruiting attention from Kansas, a program with a more-established football tradition and 10 bowl game appearances.
In Ferla’s senior season, he accumulated 1,444 yards and 33 touchdowns at tailback. His numbers on offense earned him offensive player of the year honors from a New Jersey newspaper.
Ferla played both sides of the ball at St. Joseph, and was named New Jersey’s defensive player of the year by the Bergen (N.J.) Record. The Owls recruited the versatile 5-foot-10, 190-pound Ferla for his skill on defense, where he was a consensus all-state selection at cornerback.
Ferla handled all return duties in high school. He has been timed at 4.45 in the 40-yard dash.
Ferla decided on Temple because he was comfortable with the Owls’ coaching staff, said Anthony Karcich, Ferla’s high school coach.
“It’s hard to identify with Temple football’s tradition, and that’s what was most attractive to Anthony,” Karcich said by phone Monday afternoon. “… He knows he’ll be playing in front of … people who want to get this program to win.”
Ferla sustained an arm injury in a varsity game as a sophomore. Following the injury, Karcich was hesitant to use Ferla in situations where he might get tackled.
Without many available options, Ferla was moved to defense, where he started laying hits instead of sustaining them.
“Everyone who saw [Ferla] knows he can play,” Karcich said, “but what they haven’t seen is a healthy Anthony who can play defense.”
Dunston, a 6-3, 220-pound quarterback, is ranked by Rivals.com as the 36th-best prep school recruit in the nation. He was listed ahead of recruits who committed to schools such as Illinois and Vanderbilt.
Christopher A. Vito can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article contains information from the Philadelphia Inquirer.