Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Steve Addazio's birthday gift to me

"I've been to all of the stadiums in the country and I can say without hesitation and reservation that there is not a nicer, more spectacular, stadium in the country than Lincoln Financial Field." _ Philadelphia Eagles' announcer Merrill Reese
When you get as old as I am today, with (except in the rarest of cases) more years in back of you than in front of you, the things that make you happy aren't necessarily the same as those 20 or so years ago.
That's why Steve Addazio's birthday gift to me today made me smile.
The verbal of Matt Barone wasn't necessarily a gift intended for me, but something I've been harping on for the past few years or so. If Temple wants to play football with the big (BCS) boys, it better start stealing recruits from BCS schools. So I will take the gift in a nice package with a Temple T on top.
Al Golden did that when he "stole" Kee-Ayre Griffin from Boston College and Kadeem Custis and Evan Rodriguez (a transfer) from West Virginia and Big 33 MVP Adrian Robinson from Pitt, among others.
I's OK to target projects, but that must be tempered by winning recruiting battles. It's not really stealing because the verbals are open to everyone until signing day.
I think a verbal should be able to sign early, but that's a problem for the NCAA to solve.
Temple is in a very good position to do exactly what Addazio did today. It plays in the nicest stadium in the country, the $521 million palace called Lincoln Financial Field.
 "I've been to all of the stadiums in the country," said Eagles' announcer Merrill Reese, "and I can say without hesitation and reservation that there is not a nicer, more spectacular, stadium in the country than Lincoln Financial Field."
If Merrill says that, I believe him.
"We can now say that nobody plays in a stadium nicer than ours," Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw said.
I agree with Bill, too.
It's on us, the 270,000 living Temple alumni and the 39,000 full-time students, to make it even nicer by filling it.
Winning Big East championships will go a long way to solving that long-vexing problem.
Temple is within EASY driving distance of 46 percent of the nation's population, giving parents a real affordable option to see their sons play even if they want to send them away and also giving Temple a deep pool of talent to draw from.
The on-campus facilities have been upgraded.
Peter J. Liacouras' dream of a "Temple Town" has been realized, with 13,500 students soon to be living on campus in a safe setting.
Temple, unlike most other BCS schools, plays in a vibrant, exciting, world-class, city and, according to most surveys, a great majority of students prefer an urban college experience these days over a rural one (unlike 20 years ago). Also unlike 20 years ago, these students are active in supporting Temple's football team, with over 10,000 traveling via the subway to the Villanova game and 12,500 showing up loud and proud against Penn State.
So the stars are aligning in Temple's favor.
It is time for Temple to do big things. That light talked about for the new $10 million practice facility addition could be symbolic as well as it will be real.
Fortunately, some coveted recruits are beginning to be drawn to the Temple light.


Michael said...

Happy Birthday Mike! Too bad the Runningback in the highlight film Julian Durden signed with Kent State. He was a 3-star recruit as well... But I guess with Montrell Dobs, Montel Harris, ect. on the way we can live without him.

Temple Football Forever said...

Thanks, Michael. I don't know what's up with Kent State but they seem to be identifying and coming up with top recruits. Heck, they almost had Haddock. I like Dobbs better than Durden, though. Gilmore may be better as well. I wish we had signed Brumfield over a certain pro coach's kid, though.

Northern VA Football Owl said...

Hey Mike, do we have any four-star recruits on the horizon? hard to announce our "arival" on the BCS scene w/o a few four-stars in Temple Town.

Temple Football Forever said...

I can say we are actively recruiting four stars and at least one five-star. I can't say who they are for confidentiality reasons, but I fully expect that we are at the bottom of the pyramid as far as recruits go and, remember, Daz did better from Nov. to Feb. last year. I think we will get a few de-commits from Penn State once we beat them (and I fully expect to beat them unless McManus goes down). A lot of recruits are waiting to see what Daz/Heater can do at the BCS level. Heck, I already know what they can do. They won a national championship together once.

Temple Football Forever said...

bottom of the pyramid now for us, but not bottom of the pyramid in the BE. Remember, we were 54th in the country recruiting as a MAC team last year (the BE was never a done deal). I expect we will move up in the 20s and 30s without too much difficulty when all is said and done in Feb. I don't think any team will jump in recruiting as much as Temple.

TomH said...

Daz is really stepping up recruiting. Some people were concerned that only a few weeks ago we did not have any commits. But now its camp season and im sure his time at Florida helped him evaluate elite talent in person. It seems we just picked up a qb recruit who had offers from Uconn and Rutgers. Those are the battle that we need to start winning on a consistent basis. I think once we turn some heads in the big east this season we will see a jump in perceived talent level(IE recruiting services 4 and 5 stared players)

Temple Football Forever said...

Love the Jersey QB. Looks like a taller version of Jalen Fitzpatrick. We need to groom CCII now since they burned Juice's redshirt last year.