Saturday ends the last football recruiting week of the year for Football Bowl Subdivision teams, and Temple is without a head coach as it tries to retain the group of prospects who gave oral commitments to former Owls coach Al Golden.
Golden accepted the job at Miami on Sunday. It is imperative that Temple, which has set off on a national search, have a new coach in place soon. National Signing Day is Feb. 2.
The university still has a group of assistants who worked for Golden under contract until June. They are trying to maintain ties with some recruits and keep others interested until a new head coach is named.
Matt Rhule, Temple's offensive coordinator the last three years under Golden, is believed to have interviewed for the Owls' vacant position.
Temple's hiring search has been cloaked in secrecy, with names surfacing with no substantiation. The Kalamazoo Gazette reported that Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit, a Sharon Hill native, is not interested.
John Wilson, the head coach at St. Mark's High in Wilmington, Del., has a player - offensive lineman Jake Quinn - who is in limbo as Temple tries to replace Golden. Quinn is one of 14 players who said they were going to join the Owls before Golden left.
Quinn was unavailable for comment Thursday, and Wilson said his player was just "waiting to see what happens."
"It all depends on who they bring in," Wilson said. "I don't know if he'd de-commit, but with the support system Temple was giving him - they really embraced him. That's the hard part. The support system left. But he wants to stay close to home."
Quinn was one of the recruits who attended the Temple football banquet Saturday at the Sheraton Hotel in Center City. Wilson said the Owls players whom Quinn talked to spoke highly of their coach even as rumors swirled about Golden's leaving for Miami.
The next day, Miami announced that Golden would replace Randy Shannon. What was most important to Wilson, however, was that Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw said the Owls would honor all scholarship offers.
While Quinn may be taking a wait-and-see attitude, wide receiver Malcolm Eugene of Long Island, N.Y., already knows he's sticking with his decision to attend Temple. Eugene, who played at John Glenn High (N.Y.), said he planned to enroll in January after spending two seasons at ASA Institute in Brooklyn.
"Coach Golden would have been new to me, and whoever the new coach is will be new to me," Eugene said. "[Golden's leaving] didn't really affect my decision. The area is nice, and Temple gave me my first offer. I feel the most loyal to Temple. I just want to go in there and work hard and get myself a good spot."
As for coaches, in addition to Mark D'Onofrio, who was the defensive coordinator at Temple under Golden, defensive line coach Jethro Franklin, defensive backs coach Paul Williams, director of football operations Tom Deahn, and director of player development Ryan McNamee left the Owls to be on the staff at Miami.