Temple looks to keep Deion Barnes clones home

Penn State defensive end Deion Barnes attended Northeast High School in Philadelphia. (Steven M. Falk/Staff file photo)

Temple coach Steve Addazio was asked about Penn State defensive end Deion Barnes.

An interviewer wanted to know if the Northeast High product is the type of player the Owls need to keep in Philadelphia as the program grows.

Like most of the area’s high-profile recruits, Barnes didn't consider Temple while being recruited by some of the nation's top college programs.

“I think there is no question,” Addazio said of luring the area’s elite recruits to Temple. “We have our new facility, our new conference [the Big East]. It’s kind of a new Temple. I think that you are hoping to get a few of those guys. That will happen. That’s part of the growth where we are at.”

Barnes is arguably one of the Big Ten’s most-feared pass rushers.

The 6-foot-4, 246-pound redshirt freshman is tied for second in the conference with three sacks.  He’s also tied for first in the conference in forced fumbles (two).

Barnes is just one of 11 combined Nittany Lions from Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey.

“We got a chance to recruit to [the Big East],” Addazio said of officially rejoining the conference in July. “So we are in the process of doing that.

“But you are right on the money. There’s so much great talent surrounding Philadelphia within the three-hour radius. And those are the types of things we are trying to get done.”