Ex-Temple football players work out in front of NFL scouts

Former wide receiver Keith Kirkwood ran the fastest 40-yard dash out of 15 players on Monday.

Former safety Sean Chandler runs the 40-yard dash during Monday’s Pro Day workouts at the Student Training and Recreation Complex. | SYDNEY SCHAEFER / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Fifteen seniors from last year’s football team completed the 40-yard dash, physical tests and position drills during Monday’s Pro Day at the Student Training and Recreation Complex.

Scouts representing 30 of the 32 NFL teams attended the workouts. The former Owls displayed their skills in hopes of being selected during the 2018 NFL Draft in late April or signing as an undrafted free agent.

Former safety Sean Chandler was the lone Owl to attend the NFL Scouting Combine from Feb. 27 to March 5 in Indianapolis.

For those who didn’t receive an invitation to the NFL Combine, Monday’s Pro Day workouts were paramount.

“Today was very important to prove that I have the athleticism and the talent to go along with my film that I’ve shown during the season,” former defensive lineman Jullian Taylor said. “So this meant the world to me.”


Taylor wanted to show scouts his mobility and that there are no lingering issues caused by the injuries that limited him to 14 career games. He said he has meetings set up with the Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans, Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions.

Taylor did 29 bench presses of 225 pounds at Pro Day. He feels he could be selected in either the third, fourth or fifth round of the NFL Draft, he said.

Taylor prepared for Pro Day with other prospects at IMG Academy, a training facility and boarding school in Bradenton, Florida.

Former defensive linemen Jacob Martin and Sharif Finch also worked out at Pro Day. Martin, Finch and Taylor combined for 36.5 tackles for loss last season.

Martin received an invitation to the New York Giants’ local Pro Day on Monday, NJ.com reported.

Because he participated in several drills at the NFL Combine, Chandler only ran the 40-yard dash and did position drills. Chandler ran the 40-yard dash in an unofficial time of 4.6 seconds, which is better than the 4.65-second time he ran at the NFL Combine.

He thinks he could be a late-round selection. His ability to play cornerback, safety and return punts and kickoffs will benefit him, Chandler said.

“Wherever I land, I’m just going to ball out,” he added.

Former cornerback Artel Foster treated Pro Day like his last day of football because he wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine, he said.

Foster said he has a local Pro Day scheduled with the Giants on April 6, and hopes to garner more interest after his performance at the STAR Complex.

Foster prepared for Monday by working out in New Castle, Pennsylvania, which is about an hour drive north of Pittsburgh.

“I got to stay focused,” Foster said. “I was in a town with nothing to do but train, eat and sleep.”


Immediately after Pro Day finished, former wide receivers Keith Kirkwood and Adonis Jennings met with Detroit Lions wide receivers coach Robert Prince to watch film.

Kirkwood ran the fastest 40-yard dash time on Monday at 4.5 seconds, according to a team spokesman.

The two wideouts each led Temple with seven receiving touchdowns last season and competed in front of professional personnel at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January in Southern California.

While he was in California, Kirkwood had the opportunity to study film with Torry Holt, who hauled in 920 receptions for 13,382 yards and 74 touchdowns during his NFL career from 1999-2009 with the St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars.

“[Holt] just told me to use my size to my ability, run fast,” Kirkwood said. “He loved the way that I was intelligent and able to translate what he taught in the classroom to the field.”


Cole Boozer started all 13 games at right tackle last season after moving from tight end.

In order to play on the offensive line, he had to bulk up. Boozer weighed 250 pounds during the 2015 season. He increased his weight to about 290 pounds for the 2017 season and now weighs 300. He anticipates he’ll have to add more weight as a professional athlete.

As Boozer traveled from his native Maryland to Philadelphia for Monday’s Pro Day, he felt nervous. So he texted former left tackle Dion Dawkins, who worked out in front of scouts at last year’s Pro Day before the Buffalo Bills selected him in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Dawkins told him to calm down and think of his family, and Boozer had each of his family members send him music. At 6:30 a.m., Boozer listened to songs from artists like Drake and Action Bronson to get in the right mindset.

“It got me thinking like, ‘I’m doing it for those people,’” Boozer said.

Dawkins’s advice worked. Boozer, a 6-foot-5-inch, 300-pound offensive lineman, met most of his goals. He did 26 repetitions on the bench press, ran the 40-yard dash in less than 5.1 seconds and recorded a broad jump of more than nine feet.

Boozer isn’t sure if he’ll be selected during the 2018 NFL Draft, but teams have already shown interest in him. The Giants and Baltimore Ravens invited him to their local Pro Day workouts.

“At the end of the day, if I’m on a team, then I’m happy,” Boozer said. “So I’ll do my best for whatever team picks me up.”

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