ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Length, speed and depth were the three things Temple was looking for in its football recruiting class, and head coach Geoff Collins feels that all three goals were accomplished.
In the new three-day early signing period, Temple received 24 commitments by late Wednesday afternoon and more could come.
Of the 24, there were five offensive linemen, defensive linemen, and wide receivers, three cornerbacks, two safeties, and one each at quarterback, running back, tight end and linebacker.
"We got length at every position," Collins said as his Owls prepared for Thursday's Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl against Florida International University at Tropicana Field. "Two things you can't teach are length and speed."
Fourteen of the 24 recruits are 6-foot-4 or bigger.
The Owls also signed three transfers, two from junior college and one from FCS-level Presbyterian College.
The Presbyterian player is cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. He has one year of college eligibility remaining. Presbyterian plans to become a non-scholarship school by 2020.
The centerpiece of the class is Trad Beatty, a 6-5, 222-pound quarterback from Ben Lippen High in South Carolina. He had 22 offers and picked Temple over Mississippi State. He will enroll at Temple in January.
"He is a difference maker at the position," Collins said.
Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dave Patenaude, who held the same position the previous five years at Coastal Carolina, has forged a good relationship with Beatty.
"He is probably a 4.6 guy [in the 40-yard dash], and for a kid that big he can really run," Patenaude said, adding that Beatty "possesses the ability to be a dual threat, although he profiles more as a pocket quarterback."
On the other side of the the football, Owls defensive coordinator Taver Johnson said this class will provide great depth for his unit.
The Owls needed to fortify the defensive line. A key addition is Nickolos Madourie, a 6-6, 230-pound junior college defensive end from Dakota College in Bottieau, North Dakota.
"He is extremely explosive and has a knack for getting to the quarterback," Johnson said of Madourie, who had 15.5 sacks this past season.
Another highly regarded player is Khris Banks, a 6-4, 294-pound defensive tackle from New Jersey's DePaul Catholic. Banks had de-committed from Boston College and was also considering Rutgers.
Johnson called Banks "an athletic, big dude who is really strong."
Several players are expected to enroll in January and take part in spring practice.
"There are probably six, maybe seven that will definitely be mid-year guys," Collins said. "There are still two [with whom] there are some things we are working on, and there is another kid you don't even know about yet who hopefully will be here Jan. 14."
Committed players from the Philadelphia region include Simon Gratz safety Amir Gillis, Timber Creek running back Kyle Dobbins and Episcopal Academy offensive lineman Adam Klein.
The two earliest commitments came from Sweden. Offensive linemen Oskar Andersson (6-6, 298) and Isaac Moore (6-7, 311) were able to send in their letters of intent by 1:01 a.m. Wednesday morning, thanks to the time difference between Philadelphia and their home country.
During a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Collins said that every player signed either participated in Temple's football camp or a satellite camp attended by the Owls staff.
The Owls were hoping to get a signed letter of intent from Sean Ryan, a highly regarded senior wide receiver from Eramus Hall in Brooklyn, N.Y., but as of late afternoon, they hadn't received it. Ryan made an oral commitment to Temple on Aug. 2.
While there was plenty of optimism, there was also a setback. Western Arizona junior college offensive lineman Bo Alexander, who made an oral commitment on Sunday, de-committed and signed with the University of Houston.
Another junior college lineman that the Owls are pursuing is Keenan Forbes of Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.
While high school players can sign between Wednesday and Friday in the early signing period, junior college players have until Jan. 15. The second signing period for high school players begins Feb. 7.
Collins suggested that Temple could add as many as six other players, so this class with great depth is expected to grow.
Temple football’s 2018 recruiting class
These players have signed letters of intent so far. Each player is listed with his height, weight, position and home town and/or high school.
Oskar Andersson 6-6, 298 OL Celsiusskolan, Sweden
Khris Banks 6-4, 294 DT DePaul Catholic, N.J.
Jose Barbon 6-0, 177 WR, Conestoga Valley, Pa.
Trad Beatty 6-5, 222 QB Ben Lippen, S.C.
Evan Boozer 6-4, 231 DL Loyola Blakefield, Md.
Dante Burke 6-4, 253 DE Bishop Sullivan, Va.
Elijah Clark 6-3, 168 CB Sayreville, N.J.
Antonio Colclough 6-3, 221, DL Cardinal Hayes, N.Y.
Kyle Dobbins 5-11, 186 RB Timber Creek, N.J.
Amir Gillis 5-11, 187 S Simon Gratz, Pa.
Aaron Jarman 6-6, 254 TE North Lenoir N.C.
Layton Jordan 6-2, 207 LB McKeesport, Pa.
Adam Klein 6-5, 264 Episcopal Academy, Pa.
David Martin Robinson 6-4, 228 Hempfield, Pa.
Chauncey Moore 6-0, 175 Friendship Collegiate Academy, D.C.
Isaac Moore 6-7, 311 OL Thoren Business, Sweden
Kadas Reams 6-2, 169 WR Milford Academy, N.Y.
Jean Paul Rodriguez 6-4, 283 Lakewood, N.J.
Jordan Smith 6-4, 210 WR Western, Fla.
Ronnie Stevenson 6-5, 194 Montour, Pa.
DaeSean Winston 6-2, 201 S Archbishop Spalding, Md.
J.D. Gomez 6-6 293 OL ASA College Miami, Fla.
Nickolos Madourie 6-6, 230 Dakota College, N.D.
Rock Ya-Sin 6-2, 189 CB Presbyterian College S.C.