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Temple's Artrel Foster, rehabbing in spring, says he'll be ready this fall

The cornerback is sitting out drills because of an undisclosed injury. He vows to be on the field for the opener vs. Notre Dame.

Cornerback Artrel Foster has not been seen on the field during Temple's spring practices, but the redshirt senior from Meadville, Pa., is expected to see plenty of action in the fall.

Foster has been rehabbing from an undisclosed injury.

"He is not doing a lot with us on the field," cornerbacks coach Cory Robinson said Thursday after practice, the ninth of the spring. "He is rehabbing, but the leadership he brings back is definitely a plus. He is helping this young group come along and develop all the time."

By the time the fall arrives, the 5-foot-11, 189-pound Foster should enjoy a prominent role. Before last season, he was mainly a special-teams contributor. As a redshirt junior last season, he earned the starting cornerback job opposite Nate Hairston, who could be selected in the NFL draft.

Foster missed one game last year because of injury. He appeared in 13 games, making 12 starts, and had 34 tackles, one pass breakup, and a fumble recovery.

"Last year I was blessed to get college experience," Foster said. "I didn't play like I wanted to play, and I know this year, with the experience I received, I will have a good season."

Foster insists he will be on the field when the Owls open at Notre Dame on Sept. 2. "I will be ready to go," he said.

Another Owls player with extensive experience is converted wide receiver Derrek Thomas, a redshirt junior. Last season, Thomas saw extensive time, recording 29 tackles and seven pass breakups.

Also pushing for a starting spot will be graduate transfer Mike Jones, who made 35 career starts at North Carolina Central.

"We have a lot of depth," Foster said.

Among the underclassmen is sophomore Linwood Crump, who appeared in 13 games last season, playing mostly on special teams. He has been cited by coach Geoff Collins and by Robinson this spring for his strong play. "Linwood Cump has really been playing at a high level this spring and has a bright future," Robinson said.

Senior Cequan Jefferson adds to the depth. Others also could emerge.

The key, however, is Foster, who says he is ready to assume the role as leader of the corners. Two seasons ago, the role went to Tavon Young, who just completed a strong rookie season with the Baltimore Ravens. Last year it was Hairston. Foster sees himself following in his friends' impressive footsteps.


Cornerback Cotrelle Simpson and walk-on quarterback Tommy Wyatt (from South Jersey's Overbrook High) have decided to transfer. . . . The team is scheduled to scrimmage Saturday. The Cherry and White game will be April 22.