Since, I wrote an article on the potential offensive breakout candidates, I figured why not make one for the defense? I mean, as the old saying goes “Offensive wins games, but defense wins championships.” Truer words have never been spoken about the Temple Football team. The Owls pride themselves on the defensive side of the ball and used it to propel them to their first AAC Championship in the 32016 season. So, let’s see what three players are going to break out, and help Temple compete for another ring.
Mike Jones, CB – 5’11, 187lbs
By far the easiest selection of this list. Jones is already an established college football among the eyes of NFL scouts. Actually, he was projected to be a late draft pick if he entered the draft this year. Instead, the graduate-transfer from North Carolina Central decided to take his talents to North Philadelphia. Jones brings with him massive amount of career achievements such as All-MEAC First Team for both cornerback and return specialist on two separate occasions. As for Jones as a player he’s extremely well rounded. He attacks the run like a linebacker, flashes fluid hips in pass coverage and isn’t afraid to attack the ball when it’s in the air. In his career at North Carolina Central he amassed 114 tackles, 36 pass breakups, and 11 interceptions. Jones is going to flourish from having Geoff Collins as his coach. During his time at Florida, he helped create one of the best pass defense’s in the nation that ranked 2nd in passing yards allowed per game. Temple ranked 3rd. Jones is going to be the Owls #1 corner this fall and see his draft stock skyrocket.
2017-18 Stat Projections – 28 tackles, 8 passes defended, 3 interceptions
Delvon Randall, SS – 5’11, 208
Maybe this isn’t boldest selection because Randall had a good season this past year. Actually, one could go as far as saying he was one of the best defenders on the Owls. Last season he tallied 65 tackles and 4 interceptions. So, I guess you’re wondering why I picked him then, huh? Well, that’s because I think he’s just going to get better. A lot better. You got to love the way Delvon Randall plays ball. He’s a hard-hitting safety who can also drop back in coverage and flash serious ball-hawk skills. The former three-star prospect snatched the starting gig last spring and hasn’t looked back. He’s already made a big enough impact on Coach Geoff Collins to earn him an illustrious single-digit jersey number. With Hasson Reddick and other defensive starters gone Randall needs to be the a leader on Temple’s defensive and the jersey is proof he is becoming just that. Along, with my regular stat projections I’m going to make another bold statement. By the end of this season, Delvon Randall will burst onto the national scene and emerge as a top-5 safety in college football. Boom.
2017-18 Stat Projections – 72 tackles, 12 passes defended, 6 interceptions
William Kwenkeu, OLB – 6’1, 205
William Kwenkeu is one of my favorite players on this list hands down. The dude is an athletic freak. In high school, Kwenkeu was an awesome running back. I’d go as far to say that if he stayed at running back through his college career he would be seriously challenging Owls starting running back Ryquell Armstead, but instead he’s an outside linebacker. Kwenkeu uses his speed and his nonstop motor to harass his opponents. This past season, he was a stand out on special teams and he played valuable minutes on defense. Kwenkeu finished the year with 14 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 1 fumble recovery which came against Memphis in a crucial point in the game. During the spring game, he was all over the field chasing down running backs, quarterbacks and wide receivers. I believe that this year Kwenkeu will emerge as one of the team’s top linebackers. Who knows? In a few years time, we may be saying William Kwenku’s name in the same sentence as the likes of Tyler Matakevich and Haason Reddick.
2017-18 Stat Projections – 65 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 3 sacks