By: Kylan Watson
On Wednesday, March 8th 2017, Temple University’s Football team held its annual pro day. The Owls had twelve seniors who worked out for NFL scouts. Three players that really stood out during the pro day were Linebacker Avery Williams, Defensive Lineman Avery Ellis, and Cornerback Khiry Lucas. Lucas, Williams, and Ellis really showed that they are ready for the NFL during their workouts. This was an impressive showing for Temple Football. Temple Football used to be the laughing stock of college football a couple of years ago, but for the last two years Temple has gone from a laughing stock. To a perennial power house in college football; and the programs recent turnaround has a lot to do with the strong leadership of their senior class.
Before the pro day four players that were definitely going to be drafted were Defensive Lineman/ Linebacker Haason Reddick, running back Jahad Thomas, Offensive Lineman Dion Dawkins, and Cornerback Nate Hairston. Reddick really had an eye raising performance and really put more attention on Temple Football during the combine. Temple’s pro day fell on the same day as Alabama’s and many NFL teams still sent scouts down to North Philadelphia, to check out the talent at Temple.
Williams said, “Haason’s performance during the combine definitely helped us, it put a lot more eye balls on Temple football. People used to overlook Temple.”
Williams, Lucas, and Ellis definitely took advantage of the increase attention from NFL scouts; their performances definitely improved their draft stocks, and may have put them on the draft boards of some NFL teams. All three would most likely have been undrafted free agents, but after showing their ball skills, ball pursuit, tackling, and speed during the drills, now all three will most likely be drafted in the later rounds of the draft. This feat is very impressive for Temple Football and for these three players who now have a shot to be drafted in Philadelphia.
The ascension of Temple Football is very impressive, a couple of years ago Temple Football was one of the worst places for college football. Temple was known as more of a basketball school than a football school. Temple’s football program used to only win no more than four to five football games per season. However, for the past two years a football renaissance has been happening on Temple’s campus as the football team has gone from laughing stock to a top 25 ranked football program. Temple owes a lot of its success to talented seniors like Williams, Lucas, Ellis, Reddick, Thomas, and Dawkins. To have all of those scouts show up at Temple to see these talented seniors, really shows how far Temple’s football program has come. The football program is an embodiment of that hard working blue collar mentality of the City of Philadelphia, and players like Lucas, Williams, and Ellis embody that, and now they have a chance to make some noise in the NFL.