Temple JL5

Temple High School’s TaQuon Graham officially signed with the University of Texas on Wednesday. The Wildcats also had six other signees including defensive back Ashton Logan, who signed with Baylor.

Staff photo— Jerry Larson

TEMPLE — If you tried, for 100 years, to sum up how National Signing Day went down in the locker room at Wildcat Stadium, you would never be able to do it better than Baylor signee Ashton Logan. Or more succinctly, for that matter.

You couldn’t describe how sauna-hot it was in there or how people packed a dozen deep in front of the seven signees, including Texas-bound Taquon Graham, only after Temple coach Scott Stewart ordered most of his players to go behind the crowd and stand on the benches to make more room.

About how the same parents and fans who made the trek, by the thousands, to AT&T Stadium to watch Temple in the Class 5A-Division I championship game left ears ringing as Stewart introduced each player.

About how Graham wasn’t able to get into an SUV until an hour after it was over, signing every hat and piece of paper, taking every picture and returning every hug.

“That’s just to show you how Temple is,” said Logan, a safety who will move to linebacker for Baylor. “Whether it’s a football game or a signing, if we can all get together, we will.”

The getting together on Wednesday was symbolic of going other places quickly – Graham and Logan to the Big 12, Ben Norman to Abilene Christian, AJ Gulley to Midwestern State, Lamonte Williams to Texas A&M-Commerce, Zach Rumfield to Trinity Valley and Rogers Franklin to Navarro.

Logan, a 6-foot and 203 pounds defensive back, was committed to two schools before he ended up at Baylor – first Arizona State, then Central Arkansas before picking Baylor and new coach Matt Rhule on Jan. 18.

“Everything I’ve seen from Coach Rhule and his staff is top-notch,” Stewart said. “It’s high class, high character … you can tell how hard they work. It just feels like Baylor’s going to do big things.”

Logan said he was ready to start putting the work in with the Bears.

“You just trust the coaches, believe in them like they believed in me,” Logan said. “I’m ready to get up there, that’s my new family from now on.”

Graham, a 6-foot-3, 255-pound defensive end, committed to the Longhorns when Charlie Strong was still the coach and stuck with them after Strong was fired and replaced by Tom Herman in November.

“It’s a huge relief to get this whole process over with, and feel like I got it right the first time and not the second time,” Graham said. “It’s a little emotional to see your high school career over and to get all this support.”

Graham had 10 sacks this season while helping lead Temple to a state runner-up finish, and was a two-time Super Centex pick.

“He just needs to go be himself,” Stewart said. “He won’t be able to just go and physically impose his will at the same level he did in high school, especially early. He’s going to have to work on his game, but the kid has every tangible known to man, but it’s his intangibles that make him great.”

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