Trad Beatty didn’t want to leave.
Temple coach Rod Carey and his staff didn’t want to see him leave.
Yet Beatty, a redshirt sophomore quarterback, will leave Temple after his graduation this spring with a bachelor’s degree in international business. And he won’t be looking for greener pastures on the football field.
Beatty, who saw his first significant action when then-starter Anthony Russo was injured last season, made the difficult decision to give up the sport. It is a choice he felt he had to make, and even though his coaches at Temple don’t want to see him depart, they have fully supported this decision.
Beatty made two starts in three seasons. He suffered a season-ending concussion in the fourth game last season against SMU. Temple won just one of seven games, which included the final game against Cincinnati being postponed because of COVID-19 issues on both teams.
Beatty said he had been contemplating giving up football well before his injury.
“For me, I really have been kind of thinking about this decision for over a year,” Beatty said in an interview with The Inquirer. “I had to decide after graduating if I would continue to play. Before the season and during that long camp period, I had come to the conclusion, or was very close to deciding, that this would be my last season.”
If there were any doubt, the concussion was decisive. “After I was injured in that SMU game, it was the final straw,” he said.
There was no acrimony among the coaching staff with his decision, only admiration.
“He is so mature, and if my son can be that mature at his age, I will feel I did a good job as a parent,” said Carey, who has a 14-year-old son.
While Carey admired the maturity, he wished he had the chance to continue coaching Beatty.
“I wish he was here, selfishly as the football coach at Temple,” Carey said. “I wanted him to be here, but personally I am a Trad Beatty fan and just what he is going to do in his life, the best is yet to come for him.”
Like many high school phenom football players, Beatty once dreamed of playing well beyond his days at Temple. He was a strong-armed, 6-foot-5, 220-pound left-handed quarterback who could beat teams with his arm, his legs when needed, and especially his mind.
“He is extremely intelligent, not just book smart but also football smart,” Temple quarterbacks coach Craig Harmon said.
Signing Beatty in 2017 was considered a major coup for Temple, which recruited him out of Ben Lippen High in South Carolina. Beatty had 22 scholarship offers, including one from Mississippi State of the mighty Southeastern Conference.
Beatty had forged a strong relationship with then-Temple offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude, who had just completed his first season with coach Geoff Collins. Patenaude was an assistant at Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C., before coming to Temple.
Yet after one season at Temple, Patenaude left to take the same position at Georgia Tech when Collins became head coach there.
Beatty had just seen the business side of college athletics.
Manny Diaz was hired to replace Collins, but he left after 18 days to become the head coach at Miami and was replaced by Carey.
Despite the coaching changes, Beatty said he never considered transferring.
“Part of it was I was big on my commitment to Temple and gave my word,” Beatty said. “A man is only as good as his word and when I came, I was committed 100%.”
He remained committed even though he didn’t attempt a pass his first two years and likely wouldn’t have seen much time had Russo, who has since transferred to Michigan State, not injured his shoulder.
Against SMU, Beatty left because of a concussion shortly before halftime, having completed 8 of 12 passes for 129 yards and one touchdown.
It was his best showing. It was also his last.
Beatty hit Randle Jones on a short pass that the swift receiver turned into a 75-yard touchdown on the first play of the game. It was the lone touchdown pass of Beatty’s college career and a play he said he will savor the rest of his life.
“Definitely,” he said.
Coming to Philadelphia
Chapin, S.C. is a small town about 40 miles from Columbia, the state capital. Beatty enrolled at Temple early in January 2018, and immediately was captivated by his new surroundings.
“I came to Philadelphia from a town of 2,000 people as a 17-year-old, and it was my first experience being in a big city,” he said. “Right off the bat, the Eagles won the Super Bowl [in February 2018] and it was a great atmosphere. I learned a lot about myself, about life, and it has been great.”
What Beatty found was that he enjoyed school as much as he did football.
“I would say sometime my sophomore year, being involved with everything at Fox [School of Business], a well-renowned business school, and embracing the academic aspect at Temple, that drew me into thinking about life after football,” he said.
Temple’s academic success with student-athletes was another factor that drew Beatty to the school. According to a Temple official, 25 players on the roster this past December earned their degrees. That tied Alabama for the most in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
As much as Beatty enjoyed school, his commitment to the football team remained just as high.
“I have been coaching over 20 years, and he is one of the people you wish everybody on the team was like from a commitment and leadership standpoint,” Temple offensive coordinator Mike Uremovich said. “He is exactly what you want as a college football player and a person, and it has been a privilege to coach him.”
Beatty, who will turn 21 in April, will earn his international business degree with honors this spring. He has done four years of academic work in three years.
Next up is graduate school, and he doesn’t know where that will be just yet.
He said he is back to feeling strong, but it took a while to recover from the concussion. Beatty continues to talk to Carey and his staff and his teammates and will do so after he departs.
“Temple has provided me friends I will have for the rest of my life,” he said. “I had unconditional support from everybody, the academic staff, professors, my coaches, my teammates. I have met so many great people on North Broad and am so grateful for my time here.”