Smith gains eligibility to play for Owls

Temple signee Nate Smith passed through the NCAA Clearinghouse Thursday and will be eligible to play for the Owls this season.

A 6-foot-1, 190-pound three-star free safety, he is regarded as the headliner of Temple’s incoming recruiting class.

Smith, who faced the possibility of attending a prep school this season because of his academic standing, successfully completed a mathematics course this summer in order to gain freshman eligibility.

"I'm just happy that this is all over with," Smith said. "Throughout all this adversity, I just want everyone to know that [overcoming obstacles] can be done."

Smith, who backed out of his original commitment to West Virginia, has a chance to make an immediate contribution. The Louisiana native returned six kicks for touchdowns last season at Archbiship Wood High School. He also had two interceptions.

He was also an explosive offensive weapon, making a team-best 22 receptions for 619 yards and nine touchdowns as a wideout.

Smith transferred to Wood after three seasons at George Washington. The Big 33 all-star game participant finished his career with 73 receptions for 1,486 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also had eight career interceptions.

Temple begins football camp Saturday. The Owls open the season against Villanova in the Mayor’s Cup game on Aug. 31 at Lincoln Financial Field.

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