PHILADELPHIA – Temple football's outstanding 2015 season, one in which they tied a school record 10 wins and were ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in 36 seasons, continues to reap rewards. Bringing home the hardware this time are a pair of juniors: RB Jahad Thomas
and QB P.J. Walker
This weekend, the Union County (New Jersey) Baseball Association honored Thomas and Walker at their annual Hot Stove League Dinner. Both played Little League baseball for the organization as youngsters, led Elizabeth High to a state championship in football, and have been a major part in Temple's recent success.
Last season, Thomas racked up a team-best 1,262 rushing yards along with 1,677 all-purpose yards, good for fifth and third, respectively, in the school's all-time records. He finished second in The American in rushing yards on his way to first team all-conference honors and was also recognized as an All-Star by the ECAC. Thomas emerged as a leader for Temple as his teammates voted him worthy of a single-digit jersey, reserved for the toughest players.
Walker has served as a leader for Temple since taking over the starting quarterback role as a true freshman in 2013. In just two-and-a-half seasons, he has already won more games (18) and thrown for more touchdowns (52) than any quarterback in school history. Last season, he set the record for passing yards (2,972) while becoming just the fifth quarterback to lead Temple to a bowl game. This year, he sets his sights on leading the Owls to a record for wins and to become the first quarterback to take Temple to multiple bowl games.
Earlier this month, Thomas was named a Player to Watch on the annual preseason watch list released by the Touchdown Club of Columbus (Ohio). Thomas was one of 17 collegiate football athletes selected for the prestigious honor, which included three defensive players, two wide receivers, four quarterbacks and eight running backs. The entire group was honored on February 6 during an awards ceremony at the Lifestyles Communities Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio. The Touchdown Club of Columbus recognizes multiple athletes from different sports for their abilities following the season.