Reinstated Temple defensive linemen have new attitude

Posted: August 18, 2012

When Shahid Paulhill and Kadeem Custis were dismissed from the Temple football team for insubordination last December, it looked as if their promising careers were over.

Eight months later, the defensive linemen say the dismissals were the turning points of their careers.

"I did everything in my power, man, to stay with the Owls with academics and developing a good relationship with the coaches," said Custis, a senior defensive end from Neumann-Goretti High School. "I understand that I was a distraction last year."

The suspensions forced them to miss the New Mexico Bowl in mid-December.

No longer distractions, Custis and Paulhill will be looked upon as reserve impact players with starting experience.

Custis, who started two games last season, finished the year with 13 tackles and a sack. Paulhill, who made four starts, had four stops and batted down a pass.

"That suspension installed a lot of things," Paulhill said. "It let me know that I needed to be a man about my stuff. This is a real world."

The North Catholic graduate said he initially thought that the coaching staff was against him.

"Now, looking back at it, I see that they were only looking out for the best interest of my future," Paulhill said. "Sometimes you have to go through bad times to see the bright side."

Even though they are back on the team, Paulhill and Custis know it will take time for them to fully regain the coaches' trust.

"Change is what is sustainable over time," Temple coach Steve Addazio said when asked about the duo's attitude since the suspension. "It's not a one-day or two-day thing. I have to look at that at the end of camp and say, 'Did we sustain maturity? Did we sustain that?' That's when I'll have a better feel for things."

Standout freshman sidelined. Bret Niederreither is expected to miss a couple of weeks after injuring his left knee during Saturday's scrimmage.

The 6-foot-3, 265-pound freshman defensive lineman was among the headliners of the Owls' 2012 recruiting class. The graduate of Red Land High in York County signed with Temple after backing out of a commitment to West Virginia.

Contact Keith Pompey at 215-854-2939 or Follow @pompeysgridlock on Twitter. Read his blog, "Owls Inq," at

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