Former Temple football players impress at Reese’s Senior Bowl

Cornerback Rock Ya-Sin and running back Ryquell Armstead participated in the annual Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama on Saturday.

Senior cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (right) breaks up a potential touchdown while covering ECU wide receiver Trevon Brown in Temple's 49-6 win on Oct. 6, 2018 | GENEVA HEFFERNAN / FILE PHOTO

Two former Temple University football players Ryquell Armstead and Rock Ya-Sin performed in front of NFL scouts and general managers at The Reese’s Senior Bowl on Saturday.

Armstead, a running back, and Ya-Sin, a cornerback, entered the week with an opportunity to raise their draft stock. They competed in practice and drills for three days prior to playing the North team on Jan. 26  in Mobile, Alabama.

Competing for the South team, Armstead rushed for 24 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Ya-Sin finished with three tackles but impressed in practice sessions leading up to Saturday’s game.

After recording two interceptions and leading the Owls with 12 pass breakups in his lone season with Temple, Ya-Sin’s recent performance could get him drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, Bleacher Report’s leading NFL Draft expert Matt Miller tweeted.

During Senior Bowl practices, Ya-Sin showed physicality at the line of scrimmage and down the field with receivers disrupting their routes last season. He showed that quality in one-on-one drills against for West Virginia University wide receiver Gary Jennings and University of South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel.

Ya-Sin created buzz on Twitter when he knocked the ball out of former Clemson University wide receiver Hunter Renfrow’s hands on Saturday.  

Armstead finished his Temple career with 2,812 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns. He earned the Walter Camp Player of the Week award following a 210 rushing yard and six-touchdown performance against Houston on Nov. 11, 2018.

In that same game, Armstead scored five touchdowns from within six yards.

He relied on his speed to make quick cuts behind his blockers. Armstead outran defensive backs to record seven runs of 30 or more yards this season, including a 75-yard touchdown against Boston College on Sept. 29, 2018.

The running back flashed these skills at Senior Bowl practice on Jan. 22.

The running back showed he can run with power to pick up yards in short yardage and goal-line situations. Armstead rushed for a one-yard touchdown on Saturday.

That combination of quickness and power is what gives Armstead the possibility to be the first Temple running back drafted to the NFL since Bernard Pierce in 2009.

NBC Sports Philadelphia projected the Philadelphia Eagles to pick up Armstead in the fifth round of the draft. Hogs Haven, an SBNation account covering the Washington Redskins, projects Armstead to be a sixth or seventh-round pick.

The two will appear that the NFL combine on Feb. 26 in Indianapolis.

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