Karamo Dioubate intercepted a pass and the 6-foot-3, 279-pound Temple defensive tackle was off to the races.

It might have only been the Owls sixth spring football practice, but Dioubate's defensive teammates were in mid-season celebratory form when he crossed the end zone for a touchdown.

"It felt good," Dioubate said afterward.

That play toward the end of Thursday's practice was an example of the talent the Owls have on the defensive line, and the tackle position is among the deepest on the team.

Dioubate, one of a select few freshmen to see action last season, was hampered by injury early in the year and appeared in 11 games.

By all accounts he has enjoyed a strong spring and needs to keep up with redshirt juniors Freddie Booth-Lloyd and Michael Dogbe. Last year, Dogbe (6-3, 280) was tied for fifth on the team with five tackles for loss. Booth-Lloyd (6-1, 315) also had five tackles for loss.

"Everybody is battling each day to get on the field," said Dioubate, who was rated the No. 12 defensive tackle in the country as a senior at Philadelphia's Prep Charter.

Also in the defensive tackle mix is redshirt senior Greg Webb (6-1, 312) who appeared in 12 games.

The defensive line is more experienced on the inside, and the coaches are looking to replace some major outside contributors.

Gone are defensive end sack masters Haason Reddick and Praise Martin-Oguike, who combined for 18 sacks, 10 1/2 by Reddick.

Considered a likely first-round draft choice in the NFL draft, Reddick also set an American Athletic Conference single-season record with 22 1/2 tackles for loss.

Two veteran defensive ends, senior Jacob Martin (6-2, 240) and redshirt senior Jullian Taylor (6-5, 280) should be leaders although both are coming off injury. Martin suffered a broken foot during pregame warm-ups of Temple's 34-10 AAC title game against Navy. Still, Martin played the entire game.

He says he feels 100 percent but hasn't been cleared by doctors to practice.

Taylor appeared in three games before suffering a season-ending knee injury and is still working his way back.

Another key veteran is redshirt senior Sharif Finch (6-4, 255). He has battled injuries in his career but is a leader and a strong special teams player.

Among young players who could fit into the defensive line mix are redshirt sophomore DeAndre Kelly (6-1, 260), redshirt freshman Dan Archibong (6-6, 255), redshirt sophomore Dana Levine (6-2, 225) and redshirt freshman Quincy Roche (6-4, 210).


Temple has announced that its Oct. 21 game at Army will start at noon and air on CBS Sports Network.