Patrick Farfsing, a St. Xavier grad, held the job since 2003 until graduating this year, and the odds are good that the position will stay with a GCL product. Mike Windt from Elder was with the Bearcat squad last year and should be one of DeTemple's main competitors.
DeTemple is 6' 2" and 220 pounds. His primary suitors were Cincinnati and Michigan State. He explained why he chose the Bearcat offer as a preferred walk-on. "They were recruiting me the hardest, and I felt really comfortable there. When the Michigan State staff was at UC, they were talking to me a lot, but when they left for Michigan State, they sort of stopped talking to me for a while. I started talking to the new coaches at UC, and they offered me what I had as a preferred walk-on. Michigan State then asked me to go on a visit, but I felt the opportunity at UC was best for earning a scholarship." A preferred walk-on is a player that is guaranteed one of the 105 roster spots and doesn‘t have to tryout for the team. NCAA rules allow 85 scholarship players and 20 walk-ons.
Tom reiterated what he'd been told by the Bearcat coaches and obviously expects to win the job. "They told me I'll be one of the 105 that go to camp, and whoever does best among the long snappers will get a scholarship by winter quarter or as soon as they can get it to me."
Being a specialist actually began one afternoon while "goofing around" in the DeTemple front yard. "My eighth grade year my dad taught me how to snap. We were just goofing around in the front yard. Our snapper that year got hurt so that's when I started long snapping. As a freshman at Moeller, I was only 5' 7" and 135 so I was a little guy. I started out at receiver, but someone asked after practice if anyone knew how to long snap so I figured that would be a way to get on the field. My sophomore year I got a little bigger and played some tight end, but I kept snapping. My junior year came, and I was still working at tight end and receiver a little bit, but I wasn't very good so I thought the best thing for me was to work as a long snapper. The senior long snapper (Mike Rummler) went to Miami to long snap so I thought if I really work at this, I might be able to do it in college. I worked only on long snapping my junior and senior years."
Mike Elston, UC tight end and special team coach, with some help from Kerry Coombs recruited DeTemple to UC. Tom talked about the expected competition. "They have one guy that tore an ACL last year, Mike Windt, and they're bringing in two walk-ons, me and a kid from Kentucky or Tennessee." Bearcat Insider had heard the Bearcats were looking at a long snapper from Lakota East. Tom knew exactly who it was. "Mike Winger. I heard he's going to Miami."
In preparing for this experience, Tom tried talking to Farfsing. "I e-mailed Farfsing and asked if I could workout with him this summer, but he's going to try and go to some NFL camps and try to play in the pros."
Like so many high school players hoping to play in college, the process started last summer. "I went to some camps at Kentucky, Ohio State, UC and Louisville. At the Louisville camp they told me I was D-I for sure, but they didn't have a spot for me. That just told me I had a chance. I went to Kentucky, and they told me they were very interested in me. They told me I'd be a preferred walk-on if I went there. At Ohio State, I was the #1 snapper in their camp, and they told me they were interested and talked to me throughout the year. Then I went to the UC camp, and they mentioned a scholarship. It was mind boggling because I didn't ever think I would play college football. When UC mentioned ‘scholarship,' I was pumped about that. I just fell in love with UC and their facilities. I just love UC right now."
Like so many of the Bearcat players, Tom is a fine student. "I've gotten 2nd honors every year at Moeller, I think I have a 3.0 or 3.2 GPA."
Having Moeller teammates heading to or already at UC also adds to Tom's comfort level. "I've talked to Frank Becker a lot, and we've even mentioned possibly rooming together. There's also Montez Williams (walk-on defensive back) down there who went to Moeller. I think that will be fun having two guys I already know." It'll be even more fun if Tom can win that long snapping job and earn a scholarship.