Written By: Ryan Feuerstein
On a sunny Saturday afternoon in Mobile, Alabama, the top seniors in college football took the stage in the 70th annual Reece’s Senior Bowl. The Senior Bowl is often considered one of the premier scouting events, alongside others such as the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, the East-West Shrine Game (which took place last weekend; Temple was represented by DB/S Delvon Randall and DE Michael Dogbe) and the NFL Scouting Combine.
For the Senior Bowl, Temple was represented by running back Ryquell Armstead and corner back Rock Ya-Sin in the game, both of whom had an impact on the game’s South team in what turned out to be a losing effort.
Ya-Sin, who completed his lone season with the Owls this year after transferring last January from Presbyterian College, is one of the draft’s top cornerbacks and has been praised by scouts and coaches recently. He is under consideration for a late-first round draft pick in the upcoming NFL Draft this April. Armstead was one of the top running backs in the American, rushing for nearly 1,100 yards and 13 touchdowns (10th in FBS), six of which came in one game (at Houston on November 10th).
The game’s first scoring highlight featured Armstead, who ran into the end-zone on a quick two-yard run for the game’s first touchdown. He would end the day rushing seven times for 24 yards, finishing as the South team’s top rusher. Ya-Sin, who made his name known in practices this past week leading up to the game itself, was also present on the defensive side, despite not putting any numbers on the stat sheet. In practice on Thursday, the 6’2” corner registered the third fastest running time on the South team, amongst all positions.
The big takeaway for Temple coming out of Mobile would appear to be that Ya-Sin’s draft stock has risen quite a bit over the last six days in Alabama. While he had been on the scouting radar ever since transferring to Temple, his impressive showing was enough for scouts and insiders to consider him “not-too-far behind” LSU CB Greedy Williams, who is believed to be the top corner back in the upcoming draft class.
Heading into the week, Armstead was ranked by nfldraftscout.com, a draft prep website presented by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as the 21st-ranked running back in the draft, while Ya-Sin was listed as the 10th-ranked corner back. Both numbers are expected to rise in draft prospect rankings in the coming days post-Senior Bowl.
As for the game itself, the Kyle Shanahan-led North team defeated Jon Gruden’s South team, 34-24. The North’s offense was spearheaded by Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, who despite winning the game’s MVP award passing 8-for-11 for 115 yards and a touchdown, seemed to be off his game, as had been the case in practices leading up to the game. Many of his throws were not as effective or strong as they had been during the season, including in the 2018 Walk On’s Independence Bowl vs Temple. He is, however, still projected to be a first-round pick and is one of the top QBs in the draft.
Armstead and Ya-Sin both ended their senior campaigns with single digit jerseys, something that is considered to be one of the highest honors an Owl can earn. Them, along with the entire senior class, leave Temple as the winningest class in Temple Football history.
Next up in the scouting season is the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, which begins on February 26th.