Matt Rhule, Temple’s first-year head football coach, didn’t waste any time getting started on the recruiting trail. Temple signed 23 players to national letters of intent. The Owls had 10 players from Pennsylvania and 10 from New Jersey. They also had two signees from New York and one from Virginia.
Rhule made a big push to bring in some offensive and defensive linemen with his first recruiting class. It looks as if he signed a good one from the Philadelphia area. Sema’j Reed, Haverford School’s brilliant offensive lineman, is one of the local players the Owls signed.
Reed, a 6-foot-6, 275-pounder, was an All-Inter-Ac League standout this season. He led the team to a 7-4 record. He played offensive tackle and defensive end. Rhule likes Reed’s athletic ability. In addition to playing football, Reed is a great basketball player. He is a tremendous scorer and rebounder. Rhule envisions Reed playing on the offensive line.
“I know Sema’j is an athlete,” Rhule said. “When I saw him I said, ‘Oh, my goodness,’ this is what they talk about when they come back from the NFL. This is what they look like when they’re young. I asked him if he was 230 or 240. He was 275 on our scale.
“He’s just 6-foot-6 and 275. He’s just a really impressive young man to talk to. He’ll be a 320 pound offensive lineman. He’s a basketball player. I think we saw him play basketball two or three times our staff. He’s one of those kids who will develop and grow and in two years have the length that you want as a tackle. So between he and Leon Johnson I wanted that kind of 6-foot-6 offensive tackle length because that’s what you need at those positions. You can give me short inside, but that doesn’t matter. At tackle you need to have some length. We found that in those two guys, not just height. They have arm length and hand length. They have 36-inch arms. They’re going to be able to keep people off of the quarterback. I’m really excited about Sema’j.”
Temple’s recruiting class is ranked in the Big East Conference at No. 7 by Rivals.com and No. 9 by Scout.com. The Owls’ earned the top ranking in the Mid-American Conference in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2012. Ten of the 19 high school signees attended the Temple Football Camp. Over the past four years, 71 percent of the signees have attended the Temple Football Camps.
Seven of the Owls signees – Dion Dawkins, Paul Layton, Jihaad Pretlow, John Rizzo, Averee Robinson, Adrain Sullivan and Kiser Terry enrolled in classes in January 2013. Layton is a transfer from the University of Albany.
Temple will start spring practice on March 22. The team’s annual Cherry & White spring game is scheduled for April 20 at 1 p.m. at Edberg-Olson Hall. The Owls return 46 letterwinners and 15 starters, including freshman All-American and Big East Rookie of the Year Tyler Matakevich.