Temple gets first 2013 football commitment in Moorestown's Rafter

Posted: May 31, 2012

Shane Rafter misses the hitting of ice hockey.

But the Moorestown High School junior has found another outlet for his aggressive style of play as a tenacious, two-way lineman in football.

Rafter has become the first recruit in the class of 2013 to commit to Temple on a football scholarship.

"He plays with an edge, which is good," Moorestown coach Russ Horton said.

The 6-foot-5, 288-pound Rafter, who made his commitment Tuesday, also had offers from Bowling Green and Old Dominion. Horton said schools such as Syracuse and Virginia were beginning to show serious interest in Rafter.

Rafter can't sign his letter of intent until national signing day, Feb. 6, 2013.

"There's no doubt he was going to get a bunch more offers," Horton said. "He's a 290-pound kid who doesn't look like a 290-pound kid. He's easily going to be a 300-pound-plus kid in college."

Rafter said he decided to commit early to Temple because of his relationship with head coach Steve Addazio and offensive line coach Justin Frye. Rafter also liked that Temple is a nearby school that soon will begin play in the Big East in football.

"Temple football is moving forward," Rafter said.

Rafter said ice hockey was his favorite sport for the longest time. He started playing as a 5-year-old and still was a member of the Moorestown club team last season.

Rafter didn't play football until he joined an unlimited weight team as an eighth grader.

"The sky is the limit for him because he's still learning," Horton said. "He's probably our hardest worker in the weight room."

Rafter said he was a defenseman in ice hockey who liked to deliver big hits. He said he misses the sport at times, but knows his future is football.

"Temple is the right place for me," Rafter said.

Recruit switches schools. Villanova basketball recruit Daniel Ochefu, a senior forward who came to this country from Nigeria, is no longer at Westtown School.

Sources said he has withdrawn after what has been described as a minor internal disciplinary action. Ochefu is attending Downingtown East High, where it is expected he will graduate soon.

The sources indicated that Ochefu is still going to end up on the Main Line.

Attempts to reach Ochefu were unsuccessful. Wildcats coach Jay Wright isn't allowed to talk because of NCAA rules, and Westtown coach Seth Berger declined comment.

Contact Phil Anastasia at 856-779-3223, panastasia@phillynews.com, or on Twitter @PhilAnastasia. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at www.philly.com/jerseysidesports

Daily News staff writer Mike Kern contributed to this article.

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