Temple Lands 8 of Top 52 Recruits in PA

Temple Owls head coach Matt Rhule gives a thumbs up to his team during the first quarter Connecticut Huskies at Lincoln Financial Field. (Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Temple Owls head coach Matt Rhule gives a thumbs up to his team during the first quarter Connecticut Huskies at Lincoln Financial Field. (Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

In year’s past, the top college football recruits in the state of Pennsylvania chose Penn State or Pittsburgh or possibly ventured out of state to Michigan, Ohio State, or Notre Dame.

No longer.

Head coach Matt Rhule and his Temple Owls staff are putting together an impressive 2016 recruiting class receiving commitments from eight of the Top 52 recruits in the state. At this point in the recruiting season – National Signing Day is February 3 – Rhule and the Owls are ahead of the former in-state goliaths. The Nittany Lions have commitments from six of the Top 52 while Pitt currently has five.

Leading the list of PA recruits is the state’s top pro-style quarterback, Anthony Russo. The 6-foot-3-inch, 229-pound Russo starred at Philadelphia’s Archbishop Wood High School and was sought by Purdue and Rutgers of the Big Ten and American Athletic Conference foes Cincinnati and Connecticut.

Rhule and the offensive staff added some talent to the skill positions, especially wide receiver, where the Owls will lose Robby Anderson and his 70 receptions for 939 yards and seven touchdowns. Temple has hard commits from Kenny Yaboah, a big wide receiver from Parkland HS in Allentown, and Brandon Mack, an outstanding athlete who started at quarterback last season at Cheltenham HS. Yaboah is 6-4, 215, and would give Temple the type of big-bodied wide receiver that puts fear in defensive coordinator’s minds. Mack is a 6-4, 190-pound pure athlete. He could be a quarterback but is more than likely to spend his collegiate career playing wide receiver.

The Owls also have a commitment from Steve Petrick, a 6-4, 230-pound tight end from Norwin HS, just south of Pittsburgh. Rhule also addressed the defense in pursuing DT D’Andre Dill and DE Dan Archibong, both of whom committed to the Owls prior to their senior seasons in high school. Dill is 6-2, 295 pounds from Chester HS and Archibong (6-5, 250) played at Springfield HS.

The other two Temple commitments in state’s Top 52 recruits are Darian Bryant, a 6-5, 325-pound offensive tackle from Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia and Isaiah Graham-Mobley, a 6-2, 195-pound safety who played his high school football at Upper Merion HS.

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