June 08, 2023
Sports - Kane County

Sports - Kane County

Football: Ex-Geneva star Pace Temple hoping to catch on in the pros

Temple, who set receiving records at Butler, gets invite to Bears rookie minicamp, in contact with CFL teams

Ex-Geneva star Pace Temple set the school record for receptions in a season (85) and receiving yards (1,097) as a senior at Butler, and became the second player in program history to catch more than 200 passes.

Geneva football coach Rob Wicinski remembers the story well.

As a then-high schooler, Geneva wideout Pace Temple was in the midst of his recruiting trail. One local collegiate program apparently had high interest in the Vikings' star. Temple was invited to a camp.

"He went in there just ecstatic," Wicinski recalled. "I'd never seen a guy so excited about going to one of these camps because he was going to face the best they could throw at him."

"He would find their best [defensive back] and he made sure he went up against him every single time," Wicinski recalled. "I'll tell you, I'd never seen a guy look any better."

That school didn't offer him.

Temple, though, found his way to Butler University. After a four-year playing career at the Indianapolis school, he left the program as the the all-time leader in career receiving yards (3,364).

Temple set the school record for receptions in a season (85) and receiving yards (1,097) as a senior, and became the second player in program history to catch more than 200 passes.

"I remember my head coach [Jeff Voris] sitting down with me talking about redshirting, and I remember I really wanted to play my freshman year," Temple said. "We eventually started talking about how he thought I had a chance to break a record or two and that it would be easier to do if I did redshirt."

Apparently, teams have taken notice of Temple.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound receiver was invited by the Chicago Bears to participate in the organization's rookie minicamp from May 3-5 as an unsigned rookie. Temple was not signed, but says he's in contact with some Canadian Football League teams as he determines next steps.

"I have always been a huge Bears fan, so it was surreal to be in Halas Hall, and to have dinner the first night with players I grew up loving," Temple said.

"My friend asked me if I was ready to put on a Bears helmet," Temple continued. "It made me remember going to Halloween back-to-back years as Brian Urlacher and wearing that plastic helmet in my backyard, running around and juking trees like they were opposing defenders."

Temple is among a select group of Geneva products to sniff an NFL opportunity, joining former star Pat Schiller. Schiller, a former Northern Illinois linebacker, briefly spent time with the Atlanta Falcons and St. Louis Rams.

"We knew about Pace Temple long before he got to [Geneva High School]," Wicinski said. "It took him a little while to physically develop. His motor just always ran. If you get a kid where his motor runs, you've got gold; it doesn't matter what size he is."

"I am very fortunate to have had the career I had at an institution like Butler University, and if it doesn’t end up working out in the NFL, I’ll hang up my cleats and find my next passion," Temple said.

Wicinski had some eighth-grade players recently come in for a lifting program. Temple's name and other collegiate players is up on a wall at Geneva.

“I actually mentioned [Temple’s name] last Thursday to them,” Wicinski said. “I said: ‘Hey, he was nothing as far as size-wise, but he made himself. He said ‘this is my goal; I want to go play at the next level [and] I want to go make it happen.’ And, he did. That’s a message that any of these kids can relate to.”

Jacob Bartelson

Jacob Bartelson

Jake is a full-time sports reporter writing primarily for the Kane County Chronicle covering preps. His collective work is featured across several Shaw markets and platforms, including Friday Night Drive and Bears Insider. Jake began full-time in 2017.