Temple’s prospects unknown to fans, not scouts

LB Alex Joseph (left) was one of five Temple prospects to work out during the school's pro day on March 18. (Paul Vernon / Associated Press)

I love pro days where the kids aren’t household names, and their dreams of extending their football careers hang in the balance. There were 17 NFL teams at Temple on March 18, and it’s a testament to head coach Al Golden and his rejuvenated program.

Temple alum Terrance Knighton went in the third round to the Jaguars last year and had an excellent rookie season. This year, the Owls went to a bowl game for the first time in 30 years.

Every kid worked out like his football future was at stake, and the effort was phenomenal. There were 31 kids working out, representing several colleges and universities.

Here is a look at the notable prospects:

ILB Alex Joseph (235 pounds) ran a 4.62-second 40-yard dash, with a 33-inch vertical jump and an impressive 6.69-second three-cone drill.

TE Steve Maneri is a tough kid with average speed (4.84 seconds in the 40) and measureables.

DT Andre Neblett (6-foot, 295) caught my eye at the Texas vs. The Nation college football all-star game. He is very quick with a good motor and ran a 5-second 40 with a 30-inch vertical jump.

DB Dominique Harris has good size for a safety, and ran 4.54 in the 40, while posting a 31-inch vertical jump, and an impressive 10-foot, 1-inch broad jump.

OT Devin Tyler (6-8 1/2 308) is a developmental tackle. He did 34 repetitions at 225 pounds with 33 3/4-inch arms.

Joseph and Harris have the size, speed and toughness to make a team based purely on special teams. Maneri could be a third tight end and special teams contributor. Neblett is quick enough and tough enough to earn snaps at the three technique in a four-man front. Tyler needs practice squad time to develop.

Seven players from Villanova’s Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) national championship team also participated at Temple’s pro day.

S Ross Ventrone (198 pounds), Browns DB Ray Ventrone‘s younger brother, had a great day. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds, had a 35 1/2-inch vertical jump, a 6.77-second three-cone drill and did 22 bench press repetitions at 225 pounds. These numbers would have placed him among the most athletic safeties at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Here are a look at Villanova’s other notable prospects:

WR Brandyn Harvey (6-foot-3, 201 pounds) had a 39-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot, 7-inch broad jump and ran the 40 in 4.60 seconds. He also displayed exceptional hands.

OL Jonathan Bugli (6-5, 311) did 29 bench press reps, with an impressive 31-inch vertical jump. He is a tough kid, who worked out well in position drills.

QB Antwon Young (6-3) is a developmental quarterback. He is very raw, but has a big arm with good athleticism.

DE/OLB Tim Kukucka (6-3, 245 pounds) had a 37-inch vertical jump before pulling his hamstring.

LB Osayi Osunde (6-1, 236) had a 34-inch vertical jump and did 26 bench press reps. A tight quad hampered him in position drills.

DL Phil Matusz (6-2, 319) had 31 bench press repetitions.

It was a beautiful 64 degrees outside Temple’s great facility, and drills were run on FieldTurf. These kids competed their tails off and don’t be surprised if several of the above mentioned players end up fulfilling their dream of playing in the NFL.

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