Thursday, May 17, 2012

Temple's Balasavage, Stewart signs with Ravens

PHILADELPHIA – A pair of former Temple Players, quarterback Chester Stewart (Hanover, Md.) and tight end Matt Balasavage of Lancaster, Penn,. became the 11th and 12th Owls to sign with an NFL team this spring, setting the school record for the largest class.

Both signed a rookie free agent contracts with the Baltimore Ravens.

A four-year starter for Temple, Stewart played in 10 games with six starts as a senior in 2011. He was named the Baltimore Sun / Next Level Player of the Week (Sept. 26, 2011) following a perfect 9-of-9 for 140 yards in the win at Maryland. A 2010 team captain, Stewart earned his degree in criminal justice in December 2011.

A three-year starter for the Owls, Balasavage played in 12 games in 2011 with nine starts.  He received his degree in communications in May 2011.

Temple’s 2012 class of signees—three Draftees and eight rookie free agents—sets the school record with 12.

Stewart and Balasavage join NFL draftees RB Bernard Pierce (Baltimore Ravens), TE Evan Rodriguez (Chicago Bears), and LB Tahir Whitehead (Detroit Lions) as well as .rookie free agents OL Pat Boyle (Detroit Lions), DE Morkeith Brown (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), OL Derek Dennis (Miami Dolphins), LB Stephen Johnson (New Orleans Saints), DE Adrian Robinson (Pittsburgh Steelers), WR Rod Streater (Oakland Raiders), and OL Wayne Tribue (Denver Broncos).

The seniors were a part of the winningest four-year class in school history.  They became the first class in school history to be bowl eligible in three consecutive years. They won more conference games than any other class in school history. They recorded three consecutive winning seasons and out-scored opponents in four straight seasons.  These 19 seniors were also the first Owls in school history to participate in two bowl games and became the first class to win a bowl game in 32 years.

Temple opens the 2012 season with Villanova in the fourth annual Mayor’s Cup on Friday, August 31 at Lincoln Financial Field.
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