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Temple Gains A Big Commitment At Quarterback

Temple gained a quarterback for the future and a big time recruit with local athlete Anthony Russo making the decision to verbally commit to the Owls.

Robert Duyos-USA TODAY Sports

Looking to secure a quarterback of the future in this recruiting class, Temple Owls head coach Matt Rhule may have accomplished their goal with the commitment of in-state quarterback Anthony Russo.

Russo, a prototypical pocket passer, has been a bit under the radar on the recruiting scene since committing earlier in the process to Rutgers. He is a player with immense physical gifts that have yet to be fully tapped at the high school level. The quarterback seemed to be a great pickup and the next star quarterback for the Scarlet Knights until making the decision less than a week ago to decommit from the program.

Almost immediately after Russo decommitted from Rutgers, Rhule made the 28 mile trip to Warminster, Pennsylvania to meet with Russo and get the quarterback they wanted. Just a few days later, Russo verbally committed to the AAC program.

A member of ESPN's The Opening and part of the Elite 11 quarterback fraternity, Russo was ready to commit to the Owls soon after their initial meeting. Then the SEC came calling. The LSU Tigers in particular decided to make a run at the 6-4 quarterback, sending offensive coordinator Cam Cameron to visit with Russo and explain how they thought he would fit in the offense. The Owls could only wait and see how Russo felt about a chance to play in the SEC.

In the end, LSU decided to hold off from offering a scholarship to Russo, making his decision to verbally commit to Temple a no brainer. Soon after the meeting with LSU, Russo went public with his decision to commit to the AAC program.

While LSU did not offer a scholarship during the initial meeting with Russo, the SEC power program may attempt to swoop in at the last minute and make the Pennsylvania native decide between the hometown Owls versus the prestige of the SEC. It is fully expected for Russo to gain several offers from quality programs in the coming weeks. Many teams would love to steal him from his commitment to Temple. The Temple faithful should not feel fully comfortable until Russo's papers are sent in on national signing day.

Earning the verbal commitment of Russo is big for Temple in more ways than on the field. Russo is a big name local athlete that ranks among the best in the nation at his position. His ability to recruit for Temple could be nearly as important as his commitment. Multiple highly ranked Pennsylvania recruits, including two 4-star players, are still uncommitted and could end up swayed by Russo to rebuff the national programs and help build Temple into a national power.

With national signing day coming up so quickly, expect to see Temple use Russo as an enticement for other players to come to Philadelphia.