WITH THE chicken/egg debate in mind, we offer some news on football star Sharif Custis.
Saturday at the South Philadelphia Super Site, after Ss. Neumann-Goretti High concluded the Catholic AA portion of its season - on slush, in snow, sleet and rain - with a 14-0 success over visiting Bishop McDevitt, Custis made an oral commitment to Temple.
Now all he needs is a scholarship offer. And that likely won't be a problem.
The 6-3, 195-pound Custis, a junior, stars at tight end and outside linebacker for the Saints and is the middle brother in a quality grid trifecta. Jamal, a sophomore, is a teammate. Kadeem, a 2009 grad and first team Daily News All-City defensive lineman, is now an important nose tackle for Temple.
Sharif attends the Owls' games, when possible, and even winds up with pretty good seats. He has gotten to make pit-stop visits with Kadeem in the locker room and, overall, he likes everything he sees and hears about the program.
"If Temple said they want me, I'd definitely say yes," Sharif said. "My brother likes it a lot. I definitely want to be a part of that.
"My coaches are getting together a highlight tape, and they're going to send it to Temple."
Here's guessing Saturday's game will be on it.
Note to any/all possible viewers: Get a gander of the play that occurred 4 minutes prior to halftime, expanding N-G's lead to 8-0.
The line of scrimmage was McDevitt's 27. Custis not only blocked Sean Bryson's punt, he recovered the ball in the end zone. After a bit of a scramble.
"As we were setting up," Custis said, "I noticed their spacing was a little off. Their end guy was too far over. I faked like I was going to the outside, then cut to the inside. I wasn't surprised I got it. I could tell going in. Just had to make sure I put my hand in the right spot.
"When the ball was rolling, Eric Holt picked it up but couldn't get full control. Then, there it was in the end zone. I just ran over and dived on it. That was fun."
About 2 1/2 minutes earlier, a poor snap had resulted in a safety.
"I almost got that one, too," Custis said, "but the ball kept on rolling."
Early in the fourth quarter, on a play beginning at McDevitt's 7, the ball again had a mind of its own and Christian DiFrancisco recovered for another defensive score.
Custis, who said he appreciates playing outside linebacker because it offers more variety, finished with seven tackles and two went for losses; one was an 18-yarder. Oh, he also shivered 749 times.
"We tried to keep moving around, moving around, to keep the energy going in our bodies," he said. "It was so cold out there.
"Getting up in the morning, I was thinking it could be crazy. The field wasn't that slippery, though. Just had to make sure to take short, choppy steps."
Before departing with an early fourth-quarter injury, McDevitt's Keith Young produced 80 yards on 30 carries.
Little urgency was shown by the Lancers in the final minutes because coach Pat Manzi knew his squad was sittin' pretty. Assuming Lansdale Catholic does not pull off a monumental upset tonight in a makeup game against West Catholic, McDevitt will get Class AA's second playoff spot due to defensive yield in the games involving McDevitt, LC and N-G. All would finish 2-2 and 1-1 against each other.
Custis, who lives on 32nd near Tasker, enjoys being the meat in the brothers' sandwich.
"Kadeem has shown me a lot of things football-wise, to help me get better," Sharif said. "He also talks to me about college life and what will be facing me there. Now, I'm passing on stuff to Jamal. It's a good situation."
In a Public AA semifinal: In wintery conditions at Gratz, Imhotep's DeAndre Scott (12-106), Eerin Young (13-63, first cousin of McDevitt's Keith Young) and Legend Whitfield (41-yarder, lone carry) ran for touchdowns and Aramon Piedra's nine tackles included six solos. For CT, Rolando "Ro-Ro" Ransom turned 21 carries into 61 yards and a TD while all six of Rasheed Brown's tackles, including two solos sacks, went for losses (31 yards).