Owls up to 15 football commitments

Steve Addazio’s first recruiting class at Temple keeps growing.

The Owls first-year coach received six more oral commitments Sunday night through Monday evening.

Potomac High (Md.) cornerback Tavon Young, Hunterdon Central (N.J.) defensive end Matt Ioannidis, Cumberland Valley offensive lineman Kyle Friend, Upper Perkiomen wide receiver Ronnie Gillespie, Montclair (N.J.) middle linebacker Avery Ellis and Parkland fullback Rob Dvoracek all accepted Temple’s scholarship offers. All six players will be seniors in the fall.

As a result, the Owls have 15 recruits for the Class of 2012.

“I chose Temple because they kept their faith in me,” said Gillespie, a third-team all-Southeastern Pennsylvania selection by The Inquirer.  “They are also on the rise with their football team.”

Temple offered Gillespie a scholarship at 5 p.m. Monday, and the 5-foot-9, 155-pounder accepted it on the spot. It was his only offer. He, however, was receiving some recruiting interest  from Buffalo, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Tennessee.

Last season, Gillespie had 45 receptions for school records 1,028 yards and 14 touchdowns. The speedster is also the PIAA Class AAA outdoor track state champion at 200 meters.

Young chose the Owls over an offer from Football Championship Subdivision school Towson.

The 5-10, 160-pounder, however, received interest from Maryland, Marshall, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, New Mexico, West Virginia and Syracuse.

“I really didn’t want to wait for more offers. I really like Temple,” Young told MDHigh.com. “I like that they think that I can make an impact early on. I want to be on the field and show what I can do.

“They play man coverage, and I like getting up and pressing receivers.”

Friend, a 6-2, 275-pounder who also plays defensive tackle, was receiving attention from Villanova and Rutgers. A good athlete, he combined a 27-5 record last season as 285-pound grappler on Cumberland Valley’s wrestling team.

The 6-4, 245-pound Ioannidis recorded more than 41 tackles for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association North Jersey Section 2, Group 4 runner-up.

The 6-2, 205-pound Ellis tallied 84 tackles last season. Dvoracek is an overpowering 6-2, 215-pound runner, who was receiving interest from Maryland, Pittsburgh, Penn State, Rutgers and Missouri.


- Keith Pompey