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Temple reels in starting Northern Illinois offensive lineman CJ Perez

Temple is the latest football program to benefit from Northern Illinois’ three-headed personnel loss.

May 11, three NIU players, all starters, entered the NCAA transfer database the same day. Not long after, one of that trio, tight end Mitchell Brinkman, tweeted his move to South Florida. Now, CJ Perez has confirmed to that he has committed to the Temple football team.

The current Temple football head coach is Rod Carey. Prior to leaving for the Owls in January of 2019, Carey was the head coach at NIU and recruited Perez to the MAC school.

“They were able to offer me and I’d love to be with them again,” the offensive lineman stated.

Since coming to Northern Illinois football from a Kansas junior college in 2018, Perez started 21 of the 22 games in which he played. 11 of those starts came at left guard in 2018, 10 at center in 2019.

Perez is at least the fourth transfer Carey has added since February. Early that month, defensive end Manny Walker came to Temple football. A couple of days later, West Virginia safety Kwantel Raines was officially added to the roster as well.

Temple is coming off an 8-5 record in its first season under Carey. The Owls have played in a school-record five straight bowl games.