|TFF congratulates Bernard Pierce and all of the future Super Bowl winners who sign with Temple on Wednesday.|
It always WAS a big deal, but never this huge.
Blame or credit it on the explosion of college football popularity or multiple ESPN networks desperate for programming options, but it's just a fact.
That's OK with me, though, because college football, for all its flaws, is my favorite sport.
The most exciting sports day for me is the first Thursday of the NCAA basketball tournament. Sixty-four teams with a chance, albeit not an equal one, of winning it all.
I wish college football was that inclusive, but it sure beats the NFL alternative.
While that NCAA hoops boasts the year's most exciting sports day, the Wednesday of football signing certainly is right up there as the most intriguing sports day.
To me, the saddest day of the sports year is Senior Day when you say goodbye to players you have been following for four years.
Saying hello to 25 new Temple Owls on the first Wednesday of every February mitigates some of that sadness.
|"I look forward to seeing this new era |
in Temple football under Matt Rhule's watch.
Temple players will all enjoy playing for him as I have."
__ Bernard Pierce
Super Bowl champion
It appears that new head coach Matt Rhule has held the class together fairly well, given he was a late December hire who also had to complete an NFL season. His additions to the 17 verbals Steve Addazio had addressed need areas, rather than grabbing "the best available athlete." Addazio recruited like this was the NFL, picking up the BAA rather than address need areas. That's why Temple had a lot of 5-7 to 5-10 wide receivers and defensive backs, an overabundance of linebackers and a thin defensive line.
We'll find out for sure on Wednesday, but it appears Rhule's recent targets have addressed the size and depth concerns.
This new group of Temple Owls will know that they will be coached by a staff with proven credentials for putting guys in the league and, as shown yesterday, helping guys get Super Bowl rings.
The last six Temple rookies in Super Bowls have all come away with rings. Since 1975, 12 Temple players have made 19 Super Bowl appearances producing 15 rings, the latest going to Baltimore's Bernard Pierce.
Rhule was Pierce's offensive coordinator at Temple and Pierce credits Rhule with a lot of his development as a player and a person.
Players like Mo Wilkerson, the New York Jets' most valuable defensive player at the end of last season, also speaks highly of Rhule, as does Steelers' linebacker Adrian Robinson.
Defensive coordinator Phil Snow has not only put players in the NFL, but was a Detroit Lions' defensive backs' coach. So he knows what an NFL player looks like.
Even offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield has developed an NFL quarterback.
Players who sign on the dotted line with Temple on Wednesday can rest assured that whatever talent they have will be maximized by the guys to whom they have trusted their college careers.
So NSD is a huge deal, but it'll be also a good one for Temple coaches, fans and, most importantly, players.