In an NFL Draft with no shortage of Philly flavor, one of the draft's best storylines comes courtesy of Temple University, and Camden across the river from the festivities at the Art Museum, starting Thursday.
The Owls' dynamic pass-rusher Haason Reddick had a fantastic NFL combine and has risen on some mock drafts inside the top 15. He ran an impressive 4.52 40-yard-dash and his speed and power are quite appealing to teams.
The Camden kid is in line for a gigantic, life-changing payday and the 22-year-old says he plans to buy his mother a house upon signing his first pro contract.
"I'm happy. I'm anxious and I'm ready to go," Reddick, who went to Haddon Heights High School said. "I'm ready to see where I'll be calling home for the next couple of years."
The prospect was not recruited as a teen and walked on at Temple, earning his first scholarship as a senior on arguably the best Temple squad in team history in 2016. He was third in all of college football with 22.5 tackles for loss and led the Owls with 10.5 sacks.
He translates to a defensive end, or possibly an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense and despite being slightly undersized for the NFL at 6-foot-1, he makes up for it with sheer willpower. He forced three fumbles as a senior and seems to be a natural pass-rusher after playing safety and running back in college.
As Reddick told the Philly Tribune, this weekend will be a once in a lifetime experience for the future NFL defender.
“If my name gets called, especially in the first round, and to get drafted in a city that I played in for four years, and to get drafted so close to home, and to have so much support here, I feel like the city will be behind me," he said. "I know my city [Camden] will be behind me. It’s just outstanding. It’s like a dream come true. I’m living a dream. I don’t want to wake up yet. It’s excellent.”