Paul VI standout Grant commits to Temple

Paul VI's Zach Grant has made a commitment to play football at Temple. (Clem Murray / Staff Photographer)

Paul VI rising senior Zach Grant gave an oral commitment Monday to play football at Temple.

"Temple is on a come-up," Grant said of picking the Owls. "That's big for me. Before Temple was like a little small school. And it wasn't too big on football. Now, I think they are really trying to come up. And I really want to be apart of that."

Once regarded as one of the nation's worst programs, Temple has won 26 games and made two bowl appearances over the last three seasons.

The Owls are back in the Big East for football after spending the past five seasons as a football-only member of the Mid-American Conference.

Grant, who is being recruited as an athlete, chose the Owls over scholarship offers from Syracuse, East Carolina, Ohio University, Old Dominion and James Madison.

"Obviously for Zach, Temple is a great fit," Paul IV coach John Doherty said. "Zach is a phenomenal athlete. He has all the intangibles on both sides of the ball at defensive back and wide receiver."

The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder took an unofficial visit to Temple on Friday and met the coaching staff. Grant said he was 'blown away" by the $10 million renovations to Elberg-Olson Hall, Temple's practice facility.

However, he waited until Monday before making a commitment.

"I had to think real wisely on my decision," he said of not rushing. "I always had Temple on my mind. But I couldn't say no [to Temple]. There's no reason to say no."

Grant transferred to Paul IV last year from St. Joseph High in Hammonton. Due to NJSIAA transfer rules, the 17-year-old only played in four games last season.

However, his versatility makes one of the top talents in South Jersey.

Now, he becomes the 10th member of the Owls' 2013 recruiting class. The Winslow Township native is also continuing the pipeline of Paul VI players to Temple.

Freshman defensive end Shahbaz Ahmed, sophomore defensive back Chris Hutton and sophomore wideout Brett Pierce are the former Paul IV on the Owls current roster.

"We have a great relationship with Temple," Doherty said. "It's a great school. Academically, it's a great school number one. And it's right across the bridge.

"It's great to have a great Division I program in our backyard."