MOBILE, ALABAMA- Temple’s defensive unit was on full display this afternoon at the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.
Three Temple players: Tyler Matakevich, Matt Ioannidis, and Tavon Young, made the trip down to Alabama to play on the North team. The trio was an integral part to a defensive unit that ranked first in points allowed in the AAC.
The game invites the top seniors in college football to play on final game. The weeklong event invites NFL scouts, coaches, and general managers to watch practice and evaluate players in their aspiration towards getting their name called in April’s NFL Draft.
Matakevich, the most decorated of the three after winning the Chuck Benderick and Bronko Nagurski awards for his performance this season, put on a show in the first quarter. The four-year starter racked up five tackles in the first 15 minutes, three of them solo. He finished eight tackles to lead all players. Matakevich received high praise from analysts in NFL Network’s broadcast, recognized as “one of the most instinctive linebackers in his class.” This season, he tallied 126 tackles to make him Temple’s all-time leader. He was also a ball hawk, finishing with five interceptions.
Ioannidis and Young also had their numbers called throughout the afternoon. Ioannidis, the lumbering, soft-spoken defensive tackle, caught the eyes of scouts throughout the week. Many reports alluded to his draft stock rising significantly after a solid week of practice. He added a tackle and pressured the opposing quarterbacks on multiple occasions. Young also finished with a pass breakup and four tackles (three solo).
In their final game representing the Cherry & White, all three will now head to NFL Draft. The next chance for scouts to see this bunch is at Temple’s Pro Day in ***.
While Matakevich is expected by many scouts to be taken in the 2nd to 3rd round, Ioannidis and Young are both projected to fall to the mid to late rounds.