In our Memorable Moments series we go back to late April for the NFL Draft. The Temple Owls had a record four players selected which is the most in program history. The next day another four players were signed as free agents.
The players who had their names called were; Matt Hennessy by the Atlanta Falcons (2nd round 78th overall), Harrison Hand by the Minnesota Vikings (5th round 169th overall), Shaun Bradley by the Philadelphia Eagles (6th round 196th overall), and Chapelle Russell by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7th round 241st overall). For Bradley it was special as he was selected by his home town team and can play in the same stadium he did in his collegiate career.
The next day four more players who wore the Cherry and White were signed as free agents. Jovahn Fair (OL) was signed by Kansas City, Sam Franklin (LB) by Carolina, Dana Levine (DE) by the New York Giants, and Isaiah Wright (WR) going to Washington. Franklin will be reunited with former Coach Matt Rhule.
Let’s look back at that weekend in April
The Temple Owls had a program record four players taken in the NFL Draft concluded on April 25th. Center Matt Hennessy, cornerback Harrison Hand, linebacker Shaun Bradley, and linebacker Chapelle Russell were picked. Four selectees eclipses the previous record three players which happened on eight different occasions. The Owls had multiple payers taken for the fifth straight year, the only non-Power Five school to accomplish such a status.
The rundown of the drafted players.
Matt Hennessy was the first Owl to be selected. He was taken in the second round by the Atlanta Falcons, the 78th player selected. He was the captain of the offensive line, and was given a coveted single-digit in the 2018 season. Hennessy was rated as one of the top three centers in the country and was a finalist for the Rimington Award given to the center regarded as the best in this position.
Harrison Hand was the fifth round choice of the Minnesota Vikings. Hand was the 169th overall selection. Hand started his collegiate career at Baylor University. He transferred to North Broad Street for his third season, which would be his last in college football as he opted to enter the draft. Hand played in 12 games for the Owls registering; 59 tackles, 3 interceptions, and a forced fumble. In his college career He played in 34 games registering 114 tackles and 4 interceptions.
Shaun Bradley played all of his collegiate home games at the Linc. Now, he has chance to play his professional games at the same stadium being selected in the sixth round by the Eagles, 196th overall. Bradley played in 50 games for Temple. He earned single-digit recognition starting with the 2018 season. Bradley was a versatile performer from the linebacker position. He was an all-conference first team performer in his junior and senior season and the the team’s leading tackler each year. Over the course of his career Bradley made 256 tackles, 22 for a loss, picked off three passes, forced three fumbles, and had a recovery.
Chapelle Russell was taken in the seventh round, 241st overall, by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay is coached by Bruce Arians who once patrolled the sidelines for the Owls. Russel played in 45 games for Temple. He was rewarded with single-digit recognition prior to the 2018 season. He totaled 237 tackles, 19.5 resulted in a loss of yardage for the opposing offense. The Owls linebacker recorded 3 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. In 2018 Russell led the country in fumble recoveries with five.
There are 78 players from Temple that were drafted into the NFL.
Written By: Glenn Papazian