Former Temple cornerback Nate Hairston was taken in the fifth round of the NFL draft on Saturday afternoon by the Indianapolis Colts. Hairston was selected with the 158th overall pick.
Hairston becomes the third Temple player to be taken in this year’s draft following Haason Reddick, who was taken 13th overall by the Arizona Cardinals, and Dion Dawkins, who was taken 63rd overall by the Buffalo Bills.
With three players taken in the past three days, Temple ties its school record for most players taken in one draft. It has happened six other times, most notably a year ago when Tavon Young, Matt Ioannidis, and Tyler Matakevich were taken by their respective teams.
Hairston started all 13 games for the Owls this season, collecting two interceptions, and three pass breakups throughout the season. He also racked up 25 tackles, to help lead the #3 pass defense in the nation.
In total, Hairston played 43 games in a Temple uniform, with his first two seasons taking place on the offensive side of the football, as a wide receiver. In his two seasons as a defensive back, Hairston collected two interceptions, including a key interception in Temple’s victory over Navy in the AAC championship. He also totaled 40 tackles in two seasons, to go along with three tackles for loss, and six passes defended.
Hairston joins an Indianapolis Colts defense ranked 26th by Pro Football Focus in 2016. Hairston will look to make an immediate impact with a Colts secondary that also ranked 26th in the league in opposing passing yards per game, according to ESPN. Hairston’s physical style of play will translate well against NFL receivers.