The year was 2016
The 2016 Owls were fresh off an American Athletic Conference Championship, first ever conference title. They had NFL first rounders on the roster, All-American players from previous years paving the way. Life was looking up for the Temple program, long considered to be one of the worst programs in FBS. Head coach Matt Rhule had the Owls flying high.
Harrison Hand, then a 4 star recruit according to rivals and the 25th CB in the country, was dominating at Cherry Hill West. Over the year he had developed a strong relationship with Fran Brown, who was coaching the defensive backs at Temple. Hand was set to join the Owls recruiting class in 2017.
Baylor spent much of 2016 mixed up in a scandal involving failure to take action when sexual assault allegations were levied against its football players. In the wake of the scandal, the head coach was fired, along with much of his staff. They were searching for a new beginning, someone who could build a new foundation and a new identity for the school.
Rhule returned to Temple to began his tenure as head coach December 2012. After 4 years of building a championship caliber program, he was linked to several vacancies, including the NFL. Baylor swooped in and sealed the deal, bringing Rhule and a significan portion of his staff to Wacko. Fran Brown was among the staff members to follow Rhule. And along with Brown came Harrison Hand.
Harrison Hand at Baylor
Hand was an immediate impact player, starting all 12 of his freshman games. He accumulated 31 solo tackles, 42 overall. He also had 8 pass breakups, 1 interception, and was poised to become a breakout star in 2018.
But 2018 was not as kind. Hand was handed more battles and difficulties, fighting nagging injuries, leading him to only play 10 games and was never 100%. He had also been facing his struggles off the field relating to his home life.
So when Fran Brown returned to Temple to join Rod Carey’s staff, the opportunity presented itself to Hand, who would move back closer to his family. And so he did, transferring over the winter. But would he be able to play this year? The NCAA had been less than transparent and consistent when it comes to granting transfer and hardship waiver claims.
Hardship Waiver Granted
Per a report on Owlscoop, Harrison Hand was granted his hardship waiver, report found here. This is wonderful news for the Hand family, and Harrison as well. The NCAA granting immediate eligibility now allows Hand to play this fall.
For the Owls, it also means they found a replacement for former Owl and 2nd round pick, Rock Ya-Sin. Hand has 2 years of playing eligibility as well.
The Owls secondary now looks a bit more complete after losing Ya-Sin and Delvon Randall. Hand has also garnered some outside attention as an NFL prospect and has also started to surface as an all-conference candidate.
Having reunited with Fran Brown and looking to put together another complete season, the future is in the palm of his hand.