Temple football to have ope​​n competition at starting cornerback

The Owls’ cornerback room has veteran experience with Linwood Crump and Christian Braswell returning, but according to coach Rod Carey, the starting job is still open.

Senior cornerback Linwood Crump backpedals in coverage during the Owls' Cherry and White Fan Fest at the Temple Sports Complex on Saturday. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

No players have pulled ahead in the battle to start at cornerback, Temple University football coach Rod Carey said.

Last season, former cornerback Rock Ya-Sin started in all 12 regular season games. Ya-Sin entered the 2019 NFL draft leaving a starting cornerback spot wide open. A large group of Owls are competing for the spot during spring practices.

“It’s going to be by committee right now, nobody has separated themselves,” Carey said. “We haven’t even completed 15 practices yet. We are done with 12 and we have another 25 in there, so we have more practice in front of us than behind us.”

Senior cornerback Linwood Crump played in 13 games during 2018 and is the most experienced of the potential replacements. Crump tallied 18 tackles, three interceptions and five passes defended in 2018.

Crump believes his experience gives him a leg up on the current competition.

“Three years of game experience helped me a lot,” Crump said. “I know a lot of things. I know what a receiver is gonna do when he breaks this way. I know what routes are coming now and the game is coming a little bit more easy for me.”

Redshirt sophomore corner Christian Braswell also has significant playing time from last season under his belt. Boswell finished 2018 with 11 tackles, one interception and three passes defended.

Braswell returned his only interception for a touchdown during the Owl’s final game of the regular season a 57-7, victory on the road against UConn.

Temple receivers view both Crump and Braswell as cornerbacks who challenge them on the practice field.  

“Christian Braswell and Linwood Crump [stand out],” senior receiver Isaiah Wright said. “They all make me do more work. Sometimes when I go to practice I need to be pushed. Those are the cornerbacks that I know when I get out there I have to bring a little extra.”    

Redshirt sophomore cornerback Ty Mason is another player with experience from 2018 competing for the starting spot. Mason played in 13 games last year totaling 13 tackles, one interception and three passes defended.

Temple added junior cornerback Harrison Hand when he transferred from Baylor University in January. The NCAA has yet to grant Hand a hardship waiver, which would make him eligible to play right away, Carey said.

Hand can bring a different dynamic to the cornerback group because of his time at Baylor, Carey added.

During Cherry and White fest on Saturday at the Temple Sports Complex, Crump and Braswell played on the first team defense during the scrimmage period. Mason played with the second-string defense during the scrimmage.

Despite Crump and Braswell playing with the first team defense on Saturday, Carey remains uncommitted on who will start.

“I think they are all in a big group right now,” Carey said. “I liked the way the guys have progressed as a group, but nobody has really separated themselves yet.”

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