Elizabeth’s Backfield Tandem Signs With Temple

ELIZABETH – Two members of the State Champion Elizabeth Minutemen football team have signed letters of intent on National Signing Day to attend Temple University.

Phillip (P.J.) Walker, a three-star pocket passer quarterback ranked No. 33 in the country at his position by ESPN.com, and Jahad Thomas, a three-star running back ranked No. 173 in the country at his position by ESPN.com, have both committed to play for Temple University.

Walker ended his Elizabeth Minutemen playing career by orchestrating a three play, 98 yard drive for the winning score in the state championship game against Piscataway High School. He finished the season having completed 107-of-156 passes (69.1 % completion rate) for 2,012 yards and 23 touchdowns. Among the post-season awards earned by Walker was Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-State Offense from The Star-Ledger and 2012 New Jersey Mini Max Award Winner from the Maxwell Football Club.

Thomas capped his high school career by being on the receiving end of the game-winning 49 yard touchdown pass from Walker in the state sectional final. The senior running back finished the championship game with six catches for 183 yards and three touchdowns, including scoring plays of 58, 51, and 49 yards. While Thomas scored 25 touchdowns, averaged 9.2 yards per run, and averaged 17.7 yards per reception, he was also one of the state’s best defensive players. The shutdown defensive back recorded five interceptions in earning Second Team All-State Defense honors from The Star-Ledger in 2012.

The backfield tandem was an integral part of New Jersey’s No. 1 public school football program and No. 2 overall program as ranked by The Star-Ledger. At a ceremony celebrating their commitment to Temple University, Elizabeth’s football coach John Quinn spoke about their successes on the field and the challenges his former players will face moving forward.

“The signing of the National Letter of Intent is a significant moment in the journey of the student-athlete. It signals that they are preparing for the next phase of competition not only in athletics but in higher education,” said Quinn.

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