Sunday, August 2, 2015

Football notebook: Chandler, Hood to Temple

Football notebook: Chandler, Hood to Temple

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By Phil Anastasia

Sean Chandler and David Hood play different positions for football programs in different conferences at opposite ends of South Jersey.

But the two juniors have decided to continue their football careers at Temple University for the same reason: The Owls' program felt like home to them.

"I felt like I belonged there," said Hood, a running back from Absegami who committed to Temple on Sunday. "I love the coaching staff."

Chandler, a wide receiver/defensive back from Camden, committed to Temple on Thursday.

"I just felt a connection," said Chandler, who projects as a defensive back for the Owls. "I felt like that's where I should be."

Chandler said he has developed a strong relationship with Temple assistant coach Francis Brown, a Camden graduate.

The 6-0, 175-pound Chandler is a speedy playmaker.

Chandler said his commitment to Temple lifts some pressure "off my shoulders." He said he is extra excited about his senior season because Camden's new turf field at Farnham Park is projected to be ready by September.

"I can't wait," Chandler said of playing on a new field.

The 5-11, 180-pound Hood is a threat as both a runner and receiver. He ran for 976 yards and generated 489 receiving yards with 15 total touchdowns in the rugged Cape Atlantic American Division.

Hood said he visited Temple twice, once during spring practice and again last weekend.

"The coaches are straight with you," Hood said. "They tell you what you need to do and how you need to do it. I felt like they like me as much as I like them."

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Jennings, Owens nominated: Timber Creek junior wide receiver Adonis Jennings and West Deptford junior running back Gerald Owens were nominated to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Jan. 4 in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Tx.

Jennings and Owens were among 400 athletes around the country nominated for the game. Ninety players will be selected.

Jennings, Owens and Millville defensive tackle Antoine White have been the most highly recruited players in South Jersey's class of 2014.

Jennings has offers from programs such as Arizona, Iowa, Washington State, Kansas and Clemson, among other programs.

Owens has offers from Florida State, Wisconsin, Michigan State and South Carolina, among others.

White has offers from Michigan State, Georgia Tech and Rutgers, among others.


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Passing Fancy: Eastern junior Tom Flacco said he will attend the Manning Passing Academy July 11-14 at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La.

The camp for quarterbacks, running backs and receivers is run by the Manning family. Haddonfield coach Frank DeLano works as a counselor at the camp.

Flacco, who passed for 2,957 yards and 25 touchdowns as a junior, said he would like to visit Southern Mississippi and Louisiana State during his time in the South.

Flacco and Pennsville junior Dylan Cummings both will enter the 2013 season with a chance to break former Cherry Hill East quarterback Kevin Foley's South Jersey record for career passing yards of 5,928, set in 1991.

According to South Jersey football historian Chuck Langerman, Cummings will enter his senior season with 5,372 career passing yards and Flacco will enter his senior season with 4,605 career passing yards.

Cummings has 53 career touchdown passes, putting him in prime position to break former St. Augustine Prep quarterback Dustin Thomas' South Jersey record of 69.

Flacco, who played his freshman year at Camden Catholic, has 34 career touchdown passes.


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Cape Atlantic re-alignment: Mainland athletic director Mike Gatley, the president of the Capr-Atlantic League, said a re-alignment committee met in May in preliminary discussions about the league's football alignment for the 2014-15 schedule cycle.

The CAL will lose Hammonton, which is joining the Tri-County Conference in 2014 and will play in the West Jersey Football League. Hammonton's departure will leave the CAL with 17 schools with football programs.

"We're back to the same situation when we had Hammonton and didn't have Cedar Creek," Gatley said. "We have an odd number."

Gatley said the committee asked the CAL football coaches to get together and submit a proposal for alignment. The league is looking at a "few options," including a return to a three-division format.

Gatley said it's highly unlikely the league will be able to provide full football schedules for its members.

Programs such as non-public powers St. Joseph, St. Augustine Prep and Holy Spirit likely would welcome the opportunity to schedule a game or two outside of the conference, while some smaller public schools might be forced to play each other twice in the same season.

Gatley said the league likely won't firm up any re-alignment plans until the state department of education releases enrollment figures in October.

***

This and that: Cherry Hill West junior defensive back Rodney Williams recently was offered by Temple. Williams, who has attended camps at Penn State and Pitt, said he likely will make a college commitment in August . . . Holy Spirit junior defensive tackle Ray Ellis has offers from Villanova, Delaware, Massachusetts and Coastal Carolina, according to Spartans coach John Iannucci.

Contact Phil Anastasia at panastasia@phillynews.com. Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.

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About this blog
Born and raised in South Jersey, Phil Anastasia prefers standing on the sidelines at high school football games on Friday nights to sitting in the press box at Eagles games on Sunday afternoons. He’s a graduate of Rowan University with a degree in English. Reach Phil at panastasia@phillynews.com.

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