Temple transfer players compete for starting spots

Several of Temple’s transfers have impressed coach Rod Carey’s staff.


Temple football added several transfer players to its roster during the offseason. 

The new additions are competing with returning Owls for starting spots ahead of their first game against Bucknell University on Saturday. 

Here is a breakdown of some of the new players.


Junior cornerback Harrison Hand joined the team’s secondary after playing the past two seasons at Baylor University under former coach Matt Rhule.

Hand transferred to the university at the same time as Francis Brown, co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach, returned to Temple after two seasons at Baylor. Brown was re-hired in December 2018.  

Hand considered committing to Temple before Brown left the Owls’ coaching staff to go to Baylor. Having taken similar paths, the two now come to Temple with a strong relationship. 

“I look up to [Brown] in so many ways,” Hand said. “When we talk, it’s not always just about football. We could be on the phone talking about life and money decisions and business decisions. It’s great to have him in my corner.”

In 2018, Hand recorded 13 tackles and three passes defended. 

But in recent weeks, Hand was held out of practice with an undisclosed injury. 


The Owls’ secondary gained  graduate safety Ayron Monroe who transferred after three seasons at Penn State. 

Monroe, who played on both defense and special teams, recorded 40 tackles and 1.5 sacks during his career at Penn State. 

Monroe is competing for the starting safety spot alongside sophomore DaeSean Winston and freshman M.J. Griffin. The winner will play opposite of starting senior safety Benny Walls.

“[Monroe] brings a lot of leadership in the room,” safeties coach Melvin Rice said. “When he talks, a lot of the other guys listen. He doesn’t want to make the same mistakes that everybody else makes. Monroe just adds another voice.”


Graduate kicker Jacob LaFree spent the last four years at the University of Indianapolis, a Division II team. 

LaFree was used as a kickoff specialist and averaged 61.7 yards per kickoff with the Greyhounds. 

LaFree could fill the void of former kicker Aaron Boumerhi who transferred to Boston College in June. LaFree is competing with redshirt-sophomore Will Mobley for the role of starting kicker. 

Lafree has been sidelined from practice in recent weeks with a quad injury, Carey said on Aug. 16.  


Sophomore punter Adam Barry comes to the Owls after attending Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas, last season. 

Barry averaged 37.4 yards on 47 punts in nine games last season, and his longest punt went for 72 yards. 

Barry fills the former punter Connor Bowler’s spot after he transferred to the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Barry and redshirt-sophomore Max Cavallucci are the only punters on Temple’s roster.

Carey believes the additions of LaFree and Barry have bolstered the Owls’ special teams unit.

“I like the legs,” Carey said. “Mobley and LaFree are in a really tight battle. Adam Barry has done a nice job. His consistency is coming around.”

The new additions to the team will have their first chance to see playing time on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field against Bucknell University.

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