Ali talks commitment to Temple

Timber Creek's Kareem Ali (2) runs the ball during their varsity high school football game against Williamstown on Friday Oct. 4, 2013, in Williamstown NJ. (Photo by Joseph Kaczmarek)

Matt Breen

I talked to Kareem Ali on Tuesday evening for an article in Friday’s Inquirer. The four-star cornerback from Timber Creek orally committed to Temple last week, going against his earlier commitment to Maryland. Ali (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) said he will sign with the Owls in August, allowing him to enroll at the school in January. Ali’s father played football at Temple and his mother ran track.

Here are some highlights of the conversation. Full story to come on Friday:

What made you want to enroll early?

As a kid, I saw a lot of players have a better chance at the NFL when they do that. I just always wanted to do it. I was always smart and had the good grades. So why not when I have the opportunity?

What is it about Matt Rhule that is attracting four-star recruits like yourself and Colin Thompson?

Tenacity. He’s always upbeat. He’s never down on anything.  He’s always excited, screaming and yelling. He’s a great guy and a great coach. It’s a young team. Lost seven games by 10 points or less. That shows a lot for a first year coach. I want to be a part of it.

I saw your Twitter exchange this afternoon with Levan Alston. What’s the story there?

Our dads went to school together. I kind of grew up with him seeing him at Sixers games, spring games, basketball games. We knew each other growing up. I found him on Twitter and I was like “Yo, let’s follow our dad’s footsteps.” And he was like “Yeah, it could be a possibility.” So I talked to him one-on-one. And he’s high on Temple right now; he’s going through the process. Hopefully I get him. More than likely I will. I’m pretty confident. So hopefully our basketball team can get him.

Are you using your status to sway other recruits too?

I am a little bit. But it’s really: Do they want to come or not? Do they want to get good work in? Do they want to win? Do they want to get a shot at the NFL? It’s up to them. I was just being the lead example of it all. Starting it off and see who follows.