There might not be a deeper position group at Temple than defensive backfield. Three-fourths of the secondary returns, and the Owls also benefit from the addition of a highly touted graduate transfer.


Senior Sean Chandler, a Camden High grad, and junior Delvon Randall might not have to take a backseat to any other safety tandem in the country.

Chandler (6-0, 195) is a two-time second-team all-American Athletic Conference choice. He made a smooth transition to free safety after staring at cornerback his first two seasons. Chandler is among Temple's top pro prospects.

Randall (5-11, 210) started all 14 games last season and brings a physical presence at strong safety. He had 65 tackles and four interceptions. Both Randall and Chandler also showed great chemistry.

Sophomore Benny Walls (St. Joseph's Prep) would be a starter on many teams. He might be the Owls' most physical defensive back. He played mostly on special teams last season, but this year, he should see the field much more.

Redshirt junior Jyquis Thomas has impressed coaches in the spring and during training camp. He battled nagging injuries last season and, if healthy, provides great depth.


Redshirt senior Artrel Foster started 12 games last season, and he also has pro potential. So does Mike Jones, a graduate transfer from North Carolina Central, where he was considered a possible late-round NFL pick had he opted for the draft. Jones is a potential punt returner, along with Chandler.

Converted wide receiver Derrek Thomas saw considerable action in his first season at corner, recording 29 tackles and seven pass breakups. At 6-3 and 193 pounds, he is taller than most corners but is also among the fastest players on the team.  Senior Cequan Jefferson, sophomore Linwood Crump and redshirt sophomore Kareem Ali (Timber Creek) are among those who will push for playing time.