Sharif Finch has made a name for himself by being in the right place at the right time.
A business management major at the Fox School of Business, Finch doubles as a defensive lineman for Temple University’s football team. Finch had three blocked punts through the team’s first eight games, including two in a road victory Oct. 22 against East Carolina. That performance earned Finch the American Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
“I’m just grinding,” said Finch, a junior from Henrico, Va. “I’m the kind of guy who will do whatever this team needs me to do. I go hard every single play. Success is where preparation meets opportunity. You have to want it, and then go after it.”
In a season of special moments, Finch and the Owls attained the program’s first Associated Press national ranking since 1979.
Here’s more from our Q+A with Finch:
Q: It’s been a history-making season for the football team. What’s been the highlight of the season for you?
Finch: “Every game that we get a win is a highlight for me. If I had to pick one, it’d probably be that interception against Penn State. That’d be my best memory.”
Q: So your two blocked punts against East Carolina are runner-up?
Finch: “I’d say to get over that hump and beat Penn State, that was more special for us as a team.”
Q: What initially made you choose Temple University?
Finch: “I’m originally from New York, so Temple was in that perfect spot between New York and Virginia. It was the median, the perfect spot. I loved the team, the coaches, the university, and the Fox School, of course.”
Q: And what was your calling to the Fox School to study business?
Finch: “I’ve always wanted to own my own business. To be my own boss, I think that’s everybody’s goal. It’s something I aspire to do. I’m not 100-percent sure what path I’d like to follow, but maybe something sports-related.”
Q: Do you feel as though Temple and the Fox School are preparing you for the next step in life?
Finch: “Football is an avenue. It’s an opportunity to do something special with your life. It enables you to get a degree, to get an education, and find a calling if professional football isn’t in the cards.”
Q: What is your favorite class?
Finch: “Statistics. I’m just good with numbers. It’s something I’ve never struggled with.”
Q: Do you have a favorite spot to eat on campus or a guilty pleasure?
Finch: “The Insomnia Cookies (food truck). I’m there all of the time. The (football staff) monitors what we eat and how to eat the right way. It’s not like I’m going there for 20 cookies a day, but I definitely have a few.”
Q: Now, back to the important questions – what are your goals for this year and beyond?
Finch: “We’re striving to win a championship. It’s something that’s never been done here. We’re putting the work in every day. In the classroom, I know I want to have an internship this summer. I’m looking into it now, and I have a few people helping me look at my options. I’m excited about it.”