TEMPLE'S FOOTBALL program has received its 17th oral commitment for the recruiting class of 2013, and its first since former Owls assistant Matt Rhule was named the new head coach on Monday.

Jahad Thomas, a 5-10, 175-pound running back from Elizabeth (N.J.) High School, is coming to North Broad Street. He also was being pursued by Connecticut. He's a teammate of highly touted quarterback

P.J. Walker, who had previously given Temple his word.

Rhule, who spent six seasons here under Al Golden and Steve Addazio as offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator, left last offseason to become an assistant line coach with the New York Giants. When Addazio left Dec. 4 for Boston College, Rhule became the guy a lot of people wanted. Obviously, his hiring was OK by Thomas.

- Mike Kern