The success of the Temple football program has made a big impact on local recruiting. The Owls inked 27 players to national letters of intent. Fourteen of them are from Pennsylvania. Seven of Temple’s top recruits are from the Philadelphia area.
Steve Addazio, Temple head coach and his staff, have brought in some great local players such as Nate L. Smith (Archbishop Wood, defensive back) and Brandon Peoples (Archbishop Wood, running back), Damiere Shaw (Cardinal O’Hara, defensive back), Shakur Nesmith (Imhotep Charter, wide receiver), Terry Kiser (Neshaminy, defensive lineman), Brandon Shippen (Norristown) and Byran Osei (Abington, defensive lineman).
Nesmith is Temple’s only recruit from the Public League. The 6-foot-4, 186-pound senior had 10 receptions for 219 yards while scoring four touchdowns this season. As a junior, he led the Panthers to the league championship game. He had 107 receiving yards and a touchdown on five receptions. He also plays basketball for Imhotep Charter.
“Shakur is very tall,” Addazio said. “He has long, long range. He’s a great basketball player. He’s a tremendous young man. He brings those talents. You know, I would like those big receivers. You want those guys to get in and out of cuts. You also want those bigger guys. You get those matchup issues. He brings all that to the table.”
Smith and Peoples are two of the best players in the Catholic League. They led Archbishop Wood to a league, city championship and a PIAA state championship. Peoples rushed for 1,013 yards and scored 21 touchdowns this season. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound senior, is one of the best running backs in the state.
Smith played safety and wide receiver for Archbishop Wood. The 6-foot-1, 183-pound senior, had a 60-yard punt return and a 30-yard TD reception in the city championship victory over Dobbins. He’s one of the top defensive players in the country.
“Nate Smith was a highly recruited guy nationally,” Addazio said. “He stayed home in Philadelphia. It’s a tremendous deal for us. He’s staying home to play at Temple.”
Temple now has two players with the name Nate Smith. Redshirt freshman Nate D. Smith (Highland Park, N.J.) is a linebacker who joined the team last season. Nate L. Smith from Archbishop Wood is a defensive back in the 2012 signing class.
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