Proceeds from the game benefit the Adam Taliaferro Foundation, which provides emotional, financial, and educational support to student-athletes who suffer catastrophic head or spinal injuries in sanctioned team events in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Delaware.
Taliaferro is the former Eastern High All-South Jersey running back who suffered a serious spinal injury during his freshman year at Penn State in 2000. Initially told he wouldn't walk again, Taliaferro made a remarkable comeback and has served as an inspiration with his foundation.
After Temple's coaching change, Alwan said he considered visiting schools such as West Virginia and Duke. But, two weeks later Temple hired Matt Rhule, and the new coach made a favorable impression.
"I immediately liked coach Rhule and the new staff," Alwan said. Alwan is recruited to play linebacker and is entering Temple with one mind-set.
"I think just about anybody feels that they would like to get on the field as soon as possible and that is the way I'm thinking," Alwan said.
Alwan will be a linebacker in the all-star game while competing for the White squad, which consists of graduating seniors from Camden, Gloucester, and Salem Counties. (The opposing Blue team has players from Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, and Cumberland Counties.)
Even though Alwan is slated for defense, there has been a little good-natured fighting for his services from the offensive coaches.
"He could see some time running the ball also in this game," said White head coach Ralph Schiavo, the head coach at Haddon Heights.
Alwan admits that playing in Thursday's game will be emotional.
"It's my final high school game and my last time getting to play with Jeff," he said, referring to fellow Camden Catholic teammate Jeff Miller, a center on the White team.
Contact Marc Narducci at firstname.lastname@example.org.