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Temple well rewarded with AAC postseason football honors

Isaiah Wright was named special teams player of the year and was among six first-team all-conference selections.

Temple wide receiver Isaiah Wright runs with the football against Buffalo safety Tyrone Hill on Saturday, September 8, 2018. YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Temple wide receiver Isaiah Wright runs with the football against Buffalo safety Tyrone Hill on Saturday, September 8, 2018. YONG KIM / Staff PhotographerRead more

After finishing second in the American Athletic Conference's East Division, behind unbeaten Central Florida, Temple's football team has been rewarded by the conference for its success.

Junior Isaiah Wright was named the AAC's special teams player of the year. In addition, six Temple players were selected to the first-team all-conference squad and two more were named to the second team.

The AAC's 12 head coaches voted on the all-conference teams and award winners. The AAC named 28 players on both the first and second teams. Eight others were named honorable mention.

Temple's first-team players are senior running back Ryquell Armstead, junior linebacker Shaun Bradley, graduate-student defensive tackle Michael Dogbe, senior safety Delvon Randall, senior cornerback Rock Ya-Sin, and Wright, who was named as a return specialist.

Redshirt senior wide receiver Ventell Bryant and redshirt junior offensive guard Jovahn Fair were named to the second team for Temple, which is 8-4 overall and finished 7-1 in the AAC.

"I'm beyond honored and grateful to be named all-conference and special teams player of the year," Wright said in a statement released by the school. "I think these rewards are a testament to all the hard work we put in going into this season. These rewards definitely mean a lot."

Wright has three return touchdowns this season, two by punt and last week's 99-yard kickoff return in Temple's 57-7 win at UConn. He is sixth nationally in punt-return average (13.9) and 18th in kickoff-return average (25.9).

Armstead, a Millville High grad, has rushed for 1,098 yards and 13 touchdowns despite missing two games with an ankle injury. He is third in Temple history with 34 rushing touchdowns.

Bradley, from Rancocas Valley, has recorded 72 tackles, including four for losses, and two interceptions, including one he returned 78 yards for a touchdown. Dogbe has 69 tackles, and leads Temple in tackles for losses (12 1/2), sacks (7), and forced fumbles (3).

Ya-Sin transferred from Presbyterian College when the FCS school decided to eliminate scholarships by the 2020 season. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound cornerback has emerged as Temple's top NFL prospect. He has 47 tackles, including two for losses; two interceptions; and 12 pass break-ups. He has been selected to play in the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game.

Randall was Temple's lone first-team selection a year ago. The senior safety leads Temple in both tackles (78) and interceptions (3). He has forced two forced fumbles, and has six pass break-ups. Like Ya-Sin, Randall has been selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game.

Among the second-teamers, Bryant leads Temple in receptions (47) and receiving yards (659) and also has scored three touchdowns. He is the Owls' all-time leader in receptions (169) and receiving yards (2,413). Fair has started every game this season at left guard and has started 29 of 32 games he has appeared in for Temple.

Of the other honors given out by the AAC, Central Florida quarterback McKenzie Milton was named offensive player of the year for the second straight season. East Carolina defensive end Nate Harvey was named defensive player of the year. Cincinnati's Luke Fickell was selected coach of the year, and Cincinnati redshirt freshman quarterback Desmond Ridder was rookie of the year.