ELIZABETH, NJ – The city of Elizabeth is sending two more of its native sons to the National Football League when Philip Walker signed a contract the Indianapolis Colts and Jahad Thomas, the Dallas Cowboys.
Both men, who were Elizabeth High School football standouts, graduated from Temple University and will now pursue their dreams to play professional football.
“Not only were Phillip and Jahad athletic standouts, they also did the academic work necessary to graduate from Temple,” said Superintendent of Schools Olga Hugelmeyer.
“These two young men are examples for all of Elizabeth’s young people that pursuing athletic dreams and academic excellence go hand-in-hand,” said Elizabeth Board of Education President Stanley Neron.
“Congratulations to Phillip and Jahan for reaching their goal of not only graduating from one of the top colleges in the country, but also signing NFL contracts,” said Elizabeth’s Director of Athletics Judy Finch-Johnson. “We are so proud of them.”
The former Minutemen continued to set records after bringing Elizabeth a state title in 2012, and moving on to Temple University. Walker, named the all-time winningest quarterback in Temple University history, threw for 3,295 yards and 22 touchdowns for the Owls last season. Thomas had a nose for the end zone with 19 total touchdowns. He rushed for 953 yards and caught 33 passes for 418 yards.
The respected sports web site Bleacher Report named Walker the number 1 “sleeper” going into the NFL draft.
Walker told the Philadelphia Inquirer: “I am excited. I am taking it day by day and waiting to see what happens, but I will be glad when I know what my next step will be.”
Walker has thrown for over 10,000 passing yards and 83 total touchdowns in his college career. In each of the last two years, he's taken steady increases in completion percentage from 53.3 percent to 56.7 percent and eventually 58.2 percent.
The nfl.com’s draft profile of Thomas said: “With his ability to operate from the slot and as a jet-sweep runner, he could be an interesting toy for a creative play-caller."