Cook Surprises With Temple Commitment

Lakewood (N.J.) High linebacker Chapelle Cook pulled a surprise commitment when he pledged to Temple during a Saturday visit to campus.

Temple was the first school to recruit Lakewood (N.J.) High linebacker Chapelle Cook, and it is also the last school standing.

In between, a host of others were involved – Rutgers, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Maryland and Michigan State, to name a few – but there was something different about Temple.

So, during the Owls’ barbecue for recruits Saturday, he offered a surprise when he committed to the Owls, and he understands some people may view this as a stunning development. He said a speech from Owls second-year coach Matt Rhule sealed his decision.

“He said leave your mark,” the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Cook said. “Why go somewhere like Michigan State, Penn State, where when you look to your right and your left, you have all-American this, all-American that, won this ball, won that bowl. Why not start your own legacy at your own university instead of somewhere else.

“I feel like the 2015 class can change Temple football, period.”

Cook was joined by Piscataway (N.J.) High defensive end Elorm Lumor in committin to Temple on the day. His is also the second high-profile commit the Owls picked up from New Jersey in a few weeks. Erial (N.J.) Timber Creek cornerback Kareem Ali flipped from Maryland to Temple.

“We got Kareem Ali, so we’re going to lead the 2015 class and he and I are now recruiters,” Cook said. “When we see others around, we’re going to recruit them. Temple is on the rise.”

Cook added what recruits, particularly himself, are seeing in the Owls.

“The stability in the coaching staff and feeling so comfortable,” Cook said. “I just felt great in the Temple atmosphere. I had all these other offers, but there was something about Temple. In my mind, I could say, ‘why not commit?’ So, I figured, why not commit? If I was thinking it, then why not commit?”

Cook was originally recruited to play running back by Temple, but a switch was made to linebacker. And given Cook built a strong relationship with Temple linebacker and tackling machine Tyler Matakevich makes it that much nicer.

“That’s my guy,” Cook said. “ Whenever I go to Temple, he’s like, ‘Chapelle, what’s up, my man?’ I said, ‘I finally committed.’ He said, ‘It’s the right place for you.’ It’s going to feel good learning from somebody like him, who had 115 tackles and is on award lists. It’s going to be a good experience learning from him.

“It’s a great environment. I love everything the Temple coaching staff is doing. I love how we’re on the rise. “

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