Temple released its first football depth chart heading into Friday's opener at Lincoln Financial Field against Army and the biggest surprise came at wide receiver.

This is among the most competitive positions on the team and it wouldn't be surprising if six or more receivers see action in the game.

Still, last year's leading returning receiver, redshirt sophomore Ventell Bryant, was listed on the second team. The first-team receivers were redshirt sophomore Marshall Ellick, redshirt junior Keith Kirkwood and redshirt sophomore Brodrick Yancy.

Bryant, junior Adonis Jennings (14 receptions, 146 yards and two touchdowns last season) and redshirt freshman Cortrelle Simpson were listed as the backups.

When coach Matt Rhule was asked if the players at the top of the depth chart would definitely start on Friday, he said, "If we played today, those three would be the starters," referring to Ellick, Kirkwood and Yancy. He added, "Everyone at the top of the depth chart, if we played today, would be the starters."

Bryant is the leading returning receiver for Temple after catching 39 passes for 579 yards and three touchdowns last season.

When asked about Bryant's position on the depth chart, Rhule said, "He is good player and was awarded a single digit for toughness."

Temple players vote on awarding single-digit jersey numbers to players they feel show great toughness. Bryant wears No. 1.

Among the projected starters, Ellick appeared in five games, mostly on special teams, last season and did not have any receptions. Kirkwood, who began his career at Hawaii, appeared in just one game last year before suffering a season-ending injury, earning a medical redshirt.

Yancy only appeared in four games last season because of injury and had two receptions. He was awarded a medical redshirt. During the spring, Yancy also worked at safety, but he's now fully entrenched at receiver.

Another concern for Temple involved who would be the starters at guard, but Rhule suggested recently that redshirt freshman Jovahn Fair and redshirt junior Adrian Sullivan were enjoying strong camps. Both are listed at the top of the depth chart.

The one special-teams job that was wide open was kick returner. Converted receiver and starting cornerback Nate Hairston, a fifth-year senior, is listed as the top kick returner on the depth chart.

mnarducci@phillynews.com

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