When I think about recruiting and how big the story has become on a national level, I'm reminded of the times as a kid I used to be in the back seat of my dad's car on the way to vacation in Wildwood, N.J.
"Are we there yet?" I would say every 10 miles or so while riding along a winding Route 47.
Recruiting is a little like that, especially at Temple University these days. It's a long and winding road, just like Route 47 was, with some bumps along the way. Like the first day of vacation, there's a lot of anticipation with Signing Day but you know the trip will be worth it when Al Golden gets you there. Golden got us there yesterday and I will strike one cautionary note.
There were fewer wows when the film machine was turned on this year than last year.
Since I think what I like to call the defined measureables (height, weight, speed, vertical leap, strength) are every bit as good this year as they were last, I can think of only three reasons for this:
1) We're getting used to viewing spectacular plays on this day every season;
2) The guys holding the camera weren't as good;
3) There wasn't any alcohol served this year (there was last).
I will say last year's biggest "Oos" and "Ahhs" came when the projection screen showed Oakton (Va.) quarterback Chris Coyer and a running back that you might have heard about from Glen Mills named Bernard Pierce.
One got on the field. One didn't.
Both will get on the field this year. Let's hope both stay healthy and do well.
"Last year, my wife could have picked out Bernard Pierce (as being a player), we knew he was that special," Temple coach Al Golden said.
OK, I'll play Kelly Golden this year. I can tell you that Rod Streater, a 6-foot-4 wide receiver from Burlington Township (N.J.) by way of Alfred (N.Y.) junior college, is a player. Really, they all are.
If I had to put a couple of sheckles on it, and I don't (thank God), I would be willing to bet that, of this group, Streater makes an immediate impact. He can go get the ball, he's a national high jump champion (junior college, 6-9), he's got great hands and he can run like crazy. Other than that, he's just your normal everyday 6-4 wide receiver.
Just like Bernard Pierce is your normal everyday Heisman Trophy candidate.
It was great to see Bernard there, too, with a big smile on his face when assistant coach Ed Foley said of Connor Reilly, "once we get this kid on the field, Bernard won't be getting the ball." Heck, I think that was a big smile on his face. Anyway, Bernard looked fit, healthy and happy and that was great to see.
It was also great to hear by way of LaSalle state champion quarterback Drew Loughery (pictured) that Golden has reached out to him as a preferred walk-on. I hope Temple finds room for Drew Loughery and he them. I've watched this kid for four years and he's every bit the special quarterback Adam DiMichele was and Adam, in my mind, was my favorite Temple quarterback ever.
Just get him on the field and let him compete. That's all I can ask and that's all Drew can ask. He deserves the chance to succeed at the highest level of football in the town that he loves.
That's my soapbox rant for today. As for the film session, not a whole lot of wows, but there was a lot of talk of now.
Someone asked Al if there's any chance Temple will go to a bowl in a place where there are palm trees next season. "Palm trees?" Al said, pausing. "I'll do my best."
Both the wow class of last year and the now class of this year should help him do just that.