Pitt recently received its 19th verbal commitment from a member of the class of 2019 when Abbeville (SC) defensive end Nate Temple (6-foot-4 inches, 230 pounds). Temple’s commitment was a flip from Middle Tennessee State. The lengthy defensive end registered 10 ½ sacks this season. He has been a three-year leading the Abbeville Panthers to three consecutive state championships (2015-17).
To gain better perspective on Temple, Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Abbeville Head Football Coach Jamie Nickles.
“Nate is a high-character young man. Very tall. He’s six-five, almost six-five inches tall and plays defensive end for us. He is the type of guy who can rush the passer and influence him with his height, but he can also affect the run game,” said Nickles. “I would say that’s where he specializes in stopping the run. He has a good pass rush, but the big thing is he plays so smart. He plays great fundamental technique, and I’m sure that’s what Pitt sees and likes in him.”
“Nate has started three years for us and we have won three straight state championships.”
Temple joins fellow class of 2019 defensive ends Brandon Mack (6-foot-4 inches, 220 pounds), Bam Brima (6-foot-5 inches, 235 pounds), DeAndre Jules (6-foot-3 inches, 250 pounds) and Bryce Nelms (6-foot-5 inches, 260 pounds). Mack has opted to visit a few additional schools so his commitment is currently soft at best.
Temple is a long, lengthy pass rusher that plays with a relentless motor. He has been highly productive for three straight seasons. Coach Nickles was asked why his star defender didn’t accrue additional attention from D1 football programs. He responded, “Well, I think (Pitt) has an eye for talent, and I’m sure their coaches watched his motor. There are two options: you can watch a stop clock or you can watch a kid play. Nate’s motor never stops.”
“In other words, he’s going to be just as fast on play sixty-five as he is on play number two, you know? That’s the kind of thing coaches look for and watch and he plays with the same kind of effort. He’s right where he’s supposed to be on play number three and number sixty-five. I think that’s where I credit Pitt, as they really have an eye for talent, and know exactly what they want, and he really fits in to what they want to do, what they want to be.”
Pitt linebackers coach Rob Harley and defensive line coach Charlie Partridge led the recruitment of Temple. Nate recently attended the Panthers home game victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Coach Nickles was asked about Temple’s demeanor off and on the field, he replied, “He’s vocal, you know, in a good way. Very vocal in a good way. In other words, he’s very encouraging to his teammates. I expect he’ll be a team leader at Pitt.”
“Nate’s father actually coaches here. He’s a veteran coach of about 15 years. He actually coached Josh Norman who you know plays for the Washington Redskins,” he said. “His dad has really enjoyed Pitt. My son went up with him and visited Pitt and he was just very impressed with the facilities, the coaches, just the whole nine yards … just a class operation.”
Harry Psaros can be found on Twitter at @PittGuru