NFL Draft Starts on Thursday

NFL Draft Starts on Thursday

PHILADELPHIA – The National Football League will hold its 2012 Draft this week at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and several Temple Owls are hoping to move into the professional ranks.
 
First round action begins on Thursday, April 26 at 8 p.m.  Rounds 2 and 3 are slated for Friday, April 27, beginning at 7 p.m.  Rounds 4-7 will begin Saturday, April 28 at Noon.  All action will be televised live on ESPN and the NFL Network and online at NFL.com.
 
The 2011 Owl seniors— TE Matt Balasavage (Lancaster, Pa.), DE Morris Blueford (Chesapeake, Va.), OL Pat Boyle (Towson, Md.), DE Morkeith Brown (Harrisburg, Pa.), OL Derek Dennis (Peekskill, N.Y.), DB Kee-ayre Griffin (East Orange, N.J.), LB Stephen Johnson (Norristown, Pa.), WR Joe Jones (Hollywood, Fla.), DB Kevin Kroboth (Nazareth, Pa.), OL John Palumbo (Lyndhurst, N.J.), DB Deonte Parker (Lakeland, Fla.), DE Adrian Robinson (Harrisburg, Pa.), TE Evan Rodriguez (North Bergen, N.J.), OL Jeremy Schonbrunner (Salisbury, Md.), QB Chester Stewart (Hanover, Md.), WR Rod Streater (Burlington, N.J.), OL Wayne Tribue (York, Pa.), LB Quinten White (Philadelphia, Pa.), and LB Tahir Whitehead (Newark, N.J.)—  became the winningest four-year class in school history.  They became the first class in school history to be bowl eligible in three consecutive years. They won more conference games than any other class in school history. They recorded three consecutive winning seasons and out-scored opponents in four straight seasons.  These 19 seniors were also the first Owls in school history to participate in two bowl games and became the first class to win a bowl game in 32 years.
 
Three Temple players— junior All-American RB Bernard Pierce (Ardmore, Pa.), Rodriguez, and Whitehead— were invited to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis in February. 
 
Pierce, who decided to forego his senior season, is a three-time first-team All-MAC honoree, the 2011 ECAC Offensive Player of the Year, and the 2009 MAC Freshman of the Year. In 2011 he became Temple's all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (53), total touchdowns (54), and points scored (324). Pierce also set the season records for rushing TDs (27), total TDs (27), points scored (162), and 100-yard rushing games (9), while setting game records for rushing TDs in a game (5 at Maryland) and points scored (30 at Maryland).
 
Rodriguez, who played in the East-West Shrine Game, is a two-time first-team All-MAC selection. He played in all 13 games with 12 starts at tight end in 2011. Named to the Mackey Award Watch List, he led the Owls with 479 yards and two touchdowns on 35 receptions. In the win at Maryland, Rodriguez had a career-high 96 yards on five receptions en route to National TE?of the Week honors from the National Football Performance Awards.
 
Whitehead, a team captain, was a second-team All-MAC honoree in 2011 and the Defensive MVP of the 2011 Gildan New Mexico Bowl.  He played in all 13 games with 12 starts at Sam linebacker. Named to the Butkus Award Watch List, he finished third in team tackling with 70 tackles, a team-best 13.5 TFL for a loss of 66 yards, five sacks, four forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.
 
In 2011, DT Muhammad Wilkerson (Linden, N.J.) was a first round pick (30th overall) by the New York Jets, while S Jaiquawn Jarrett (Brooklyn, N.Y.) was a second round selection (54th overall) by the Philadelphia Eagles.  Additionally, eight Owls-- WR Michael Campbell (New York Jets); TE Vaughn Charlton (Pittsburgh Steelers); twins LB Elijah “Peanut” Joseph and DT Eli Joseph (Green Bay Packers); LB Amara Kamara (Kansas City Chiefs); DB Marquise Liverpool (Detroit Lions); OL Colin Madison (Baltimore Ravens); and OL Darius Morris (Houston Texans)—signed rookie free agent contracts, marking the largest class of NFL signees (10) in school history. 
 
Temple opens the 2012 season with Villanova in the fourth annual Mayor's Cup, sponsored by Dunkin' Donuts, on Friday, August 31 at Lincoln Financial Field.
 
Temple football season tickets are on sale now for as low as $99 and can be purchased by calling the Temple Ticket Sales Office at 215-204-8499 or visit www.OwlsTix.com.
 
 

TEMPLE FOOTBALL DRAFT STATS
 
  • Since 1937, sixty Temple Owls have been selected in the NFL Draft.
 
  • Temple has had three First Round selections: 
                        — DT Muhammad Wilkerson (2011, 30th pick, New York Jets)
                        — Heisman runner-up RB Paul Palmer (1987, 19th pick, Kansas City Chiefs)
                        — OG John Rienstra (1986, 9th pick, Pittsburgh Steelers)
 
  • The first Owl drafted was T Bill Docherty (1937, 6th pick, 9th round, 86th pick overall, Washington Redskins).
 
  • The most Owls drafted in one year were three [four times:  1946, 1975, 1980, 1987].
 
  • The highest Owl drafted was OG John Rienstra (1986, 9th pick overall, 1st round, Pittsburgh Steelers).
 
  • The Philadelphia Eagles have selected hometown talent six times:
                        — DB Jaiquawn Jarrett (2011, 22nd pick, 2nd round, 54th pick overall)
                        — DE Raheem Brock (2002, 27th pick, 7th round, 238th pick overall)
                        — LB Mike Curcio (1980, 25th pick, 8th round, 218th pick overall)
                        — DE Garry Webb (1975, 13th pick, 17th round, 429 pick overall)
                        — E Jim Thompson (1958, 2nd pick, 30th round, 351st pick overall)
                        — G Joe Tyrrell (1952, 4th pick, 24th round, 281st pick overall)
 
  • There were seven former Owls on NFL rosters last season-- DL Raheem Brock (Seattle Seahawks), S Jaiquawn Jarrett (Philadelphia Eagles), LB Alex Joseph (Seattle Seahawks), DT Terrance Knighton (Jacksonville Jaguars), OL/TE Steve Maneri (Kansas City Chiefs), DT Andre Neblett (Carolina Panthers), and DT Muhammad Wilkerson (New York Jets).
 
  • Twelve Temple players have played in the Super Bowl 18 times.  TE Randy Grossman has the most appearances (4) and four Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1975-76-79-80.       
 
 
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