Rhule hires two assistants

Matt Rhule has added two new coaches to his staff for the 2015 football season.

The Owls head coach will be welcoming Glenn Thomas, a former assistant with the Atlanta Falcons, who will join as a quarterbacks coach, and Frisman Jackson as wide receivers coach.

Thomas spent four years as an offensive assistant coach, and three as a quarterbacks coach with the Falcons under head coach Mike Smith. The 37-year-old will take on the responsibility of reversing junior quarterback P.J. Walker’s sophomore slump.

Walker, a two-year starter, saw decreases in completion percentage, yards per average, touchdown passes and quarterback rating while throwing seven more interceptions than his previous season.

Jackson, a former wide receivers coach at North Carolina State, will slide into former Owls receivers coach Adam DiMechele’s spot, who will be reassigned to director of player development.

“I’m very excited to add such talent and diversity to our coaching staff,”  Rhule said in a press release announcing the coaching hires. “Frisman and Glenn have worked at the highest level and can lead our student-athletes to greater heights. I’m also excited about what each man brings to the table as a recruiter.”

Highly touted recruit verbally commits to Owls

Per his Twitter, four-star cornerback Kareem Ali Jr. verbally committed to Temple Saturday, marking what is perhaps Temple’s biggest verbal commit of the summer.

Per reports, the Sicklerville, N.J. native has plans to graduate Timber Creek high school in December and enroll at Temple in January. Ali is also slated to participate in spring ball next year.

The announcement of his orally committing dropped after Ali participated in coach Matt Rhule’s football camp Saturday. Ali decommitted from Maryland, with which he verbally committed last month, in favor of Temple’s program.

Rivals.com lists Ali as a four-star recruit and the No. 28 ranked cornerback in the nation. He is the No. 7 ranked CB in New Jersey and received an invitation to play in the 2015 U.S. Army All-American bowl.

Ali amassed 31 tackles, broke up five passes and registered one interception for Timber Creek high school in 2013. He is the second prospect to verbally commit to the Owls this week alongside Haddonfield wide receiver/cornerback Jake Robinson.

Football looks for second straight win

Temple (1-6, 0-3 American Athletic Conference) flew to Dallas, Texas on Friday afternoon as the team prepares for a conference match-up against SMU (2-4, 1-1 American Athletic Conference) on Saturday at 2 p.m. CT.

After earning their first victory against Army last week, the Owls will look to spoil the Mustangs’ Homecoming game.

“We have to find a way to get to the quarterback and try to take away their big play threats,” coach Matt Rhule said. “On offense, we have to find and generate some kind of rushing attack. That’s been hard for us the last couple weeks.”

Entering his second week as the Owls’ starting quarterback, freshman P.J. Walker will look for his second career win on Saturday afternoon.

“I’m staying and watching more film than I usually do,” Walker said. “I’ve been preparing as the starter since day one of the season. Nothing has changed that much.”

Walker said the vibe in practice was more up-tempo now that the team has a win.

“They got the taste of winning, and now everybody is just going out and playing harder.”

The game will be broadcast on ESPN3. Click here for a season preview of SMU published this past summer by The Temple News.

Training Camp Recap (8/12 – 8/15)

Quarterback battle

The team’s quarterback battle has continued this week, as senior Clinton “Juice” Granger and redshirt freshman P.J. Walker compete with junior Connor Reilly for the starting job.

“We’re going to leave it as a competition,” Rhule said after practice Monday. “We’re going to keep this thing going until we make a decision as a staff.”

Rhule said that early in the week, Reilly was dealing with a sprained ankle.

“I think the biggest issue with [Reilly] is that he’s a little bit banged up,” Rhule said. “He’s struggling a little bit to get his feet underneath him to kind of move a little bit. Mentally I think he’s a tough kid. He knows that’s what this game is all about—a competition day in and day out.”

Meanwhile, Granger continues to make headway in his efforts to become this year’s starting quarterback.

“Juice is throwing the football really well,” Rhule said. “We know he can run, but he’s throwing the ball really well. They’re all getting better and better at it, so we’ll see what happens in the next scrimmage. But each day at practice, we’re grading and evaluating them.”

“We know we need to have three, four quarterbacks to have a chance to get through the season anyway,” Rhule added. “So, while it’s a competition to them, for us it’s just getting them ready to play.”

From WR to DE

Sophomore Romond Deloatch, who had two starts last year at wide receiver as a freshman, had quite an interesting week of camp.

After being late for a meeting, Rhule moved Deloatch to a different practice unit to “shake him up.” On Monday, Deloatch was playing alongside the defensive ends—and the Hampton, Va. native actually played well in his new role.

“He might have just been made at me so he said, ‘I’ll show you.’ He went ahead and had like five or six sacks. During camp you’ve always got to move some guys around. At the end of the day, we know we have to play Houston and they run 115 plays of three and four wides.”

“Even if a guy is going to start at receiver, if he can go out there and rush the passer, we’ll use him,” Rhule added. “We’re going to use everybody. If Bill Belichick can do it, we’re certainly going to try and do it.


Originally a tradition that was used by former Temple coach Al Golden, Matt Rhule is bringing back the “one through nine tough guy jerseys.”

Rhule, who was an assistant coach for Golden for five seasons, will be assigning the numbers one through nine to the athletes on the team that he believes most represent toughness.

The first year coach announced today that senior defensive lineman Levi Brown was the first to be awarded, with the number nine.

Last season, Brown mostly played nose tackle and tallied 27 tackles with 3.5 of them being for a loss. Rhule cited Brown losing five percent body fat over the summer, and his overall leadership in camp as reasons for his choice.

Rhule says he plans on handing out the other eight numbers within the next few days, and each athlete will be recognized in front of the entire team.

Real-life Owl to attend home games this season


Stella will be at Temple home games this season. // FOOTBALL COMMUNICATIONS

Meet Stella.

The three-and-a-half-year-old great horned owl from the Elmwood Park Zoo is set to attend Temple football home games this year, with a sideline view at Lincoln Financial Field.

The owl was at practice this afternoon, where she “met with” the Temple athletes and head coach Matt Rhule.