Former Owls take part in Pro Day

Temple University football held its Pro Day Wednesday afternoon for former players to showcase their abilities in front of NFL scouts.

Amir Tyler, a former safety, had the second-highest vertical leap at 38-inches and one of the best broad jumps at 10-feet one-inch. | NICK DAVIS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

NFL scouts for more than a dozen teams gathered Wednesday afternoon for Temple University football’s annual Pro Day, where 10 Temple players and six players from other local schools performed physical testing at the Aramark STAR Complex. 

This year’s NFL Draft begins April 28 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Temple had 13 former Owls participate, including Ra’Von Bonner (running back), Joseph Hooper (offensive lineman), Jeremy Jennings (cornerback), Freddie Johnson (cornerback), William Kwenkeu (linebacker), Michael Niese (offensive lineman), C.J. Perez (offensive lineman), Tayvon Ruley (running back), Amir Tyler (safety), Manny Walker (defensive lineman), Aaron Adu (cornerback), Anthony Russo (quarterback) and Casey Williams (defensive lineman). 

The players participated in measurements, the bench press and vertical jump at Edberg-Olson Hall before moving to the STAR Complex for on field tests and drills.

Here are six players who stood out.

Amir Tyler:

Tyler, a former safety, had the second-highest vertical leap at 38-inches and one of the best broad jumps at 10-feet one-inch. He ran a 4.74 40-yard dash and put up 16 reps on the bench press. 

Tyler looked solid during the position drills, tracking the ball well in the air. Tyler had 164 total tackles, eight tackles for loss, 12 passes defended, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries during his Temple career.

Tyler spoke with the Bears and Giants during the Pro Day and was invited to their local workouts to test again. 

“Wherever they need me I just want to show them I’m available at any spot,” Tyler said.

Freddie Johnson:

Johnson, a former cornerback, was tied for the longest broad jump at 10-feet four-inches and had a 35-inch vertical. His 4.47 second 40-yard dash also led the field. 

Johnson exhibited great footwork during position drills, but had some slow turns and slips as well. 

During his Temple career, Johnson had 53 total tackles, one interception and two passes defended. 

Manny Walker:

Walker, a former defensive lineman, tied with Johnson for the longest broad jump at 10-feet four-inches and had a 34-inch vertical jump. He ran a 4.68 second 40-yard dash. 

“I think I did pretty good,” Walker said. “I think it was pretty fluid.”

Walker tested well with solid times in the three-cone drill and short-yard shuttle. He made a few minor errors during position drills, mainly in open field play. 

He finished his Temple career with 41 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

Trayvon Ruley:

Ruley, a former running back, had a nine-foot six-inch broad jump and a 32-inch vertical. He ran a 4.65 second 40-yard dash.

Ruley looked great in the position drills, tracking every catchable ball and finished off his reps with an athletic down-the-field grab from former Temple quarterback Anthony Russo. 

Ruley rushed for 665 yards and four touchdowns during his time at Temple. 

William Kwenkeu:

Kwenkeu, a former linebacker, had a nine-foot five-inch broad jump and a 33.5-inch vertical leap. He ran a 4.60 second 40-yard dash to complement his 22 reps on the bench press. 

Kwenkeu was probably the surprise of the Pro Day, and his athleticism was on display throughout the position drills. 

“Overall it was a really good day,” Kwenkeu said. “I talked to the Bears, and I talked to the Ravens.”

Kwenkeu had 182 total tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks during his Temple career. 

C.J. Perez:

Perez, a former center, had a nine-foot broad jump and a 32.5-inch vertical jump. He led the Pro Day with 26 reps on the bench press and ran a 5.34 second 40-yard dash before pulling up with a minor leg injury during his second run.

“I was able to talk with the Ravens a little bit, Carolina and then the Eagles a little bit, too,”  Perez said. “I’ve been hearing good stuff.”

Perez stayed out on the field for positional drills and powered through the rest of the workout. 

The center earned preseason All-AAC recognition in 2020 and started 17 consecutive games for the Owls prior to an injury-riddled season. 

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