Temple Defensive Tackle Muhammad Wilkerson Looks NFL Ready

Danny Flynn@FlynnceptionSenior Analyst INovember 14, 2010

Photo Courtesy of Joseph V. Labolito/ Temple University
Photo Courtesy of Joseph V. Labolito/ Temple University

When it comes to junior defensive tackles who could possibly enter the NFL Draft after this season, a few names like Auburn's Nick Fairley and Nebraska's Jared Crick immediately come to mind, but one player who doesn’t seem to be getting his fair share of hype is Temple's Muhammad Wilkerson.

That's what happens when you play for a MAC team that barely gets any TV time instead of a BCS powerhouse.

Wilkerson, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound junior, has been basically unblockable all season long, flashing what it takes to be an NFL caliber defensive lineman in the process.

The big man has already accounted for 8.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for a loss in nine games, and he's widely considered the best defensive player in the league by many of the MAC's coaches.

Wilkerson has the size and pure brute strength to be a true anchor in the middle, and his agility and quickness aid him in his quest to penetrate into opponent's backfields.

The former lightly recruited two-star prospect out of New Jersey's Linden High School made a name for himself after a stop at the prestigious Hargrave Military Academy, and so far, he's proved to be a true gem for Temple Coach Al Golden.

Wilkerson is by far and away the best player on a Temple defense that's the best in the MAC this season. He's the type of player that's indicative of the sneaky talented players Golden is starting to bring to the school.

Does Wilkerson have first-round potential? Time will tell, but from what he's demonstrated over the last two seasons, he should definitely have pro scouts very intrigued.

His lack of national publicity could affect his chances of being considered for some notable postseason awards and honors, but it shouldn't hurt his NFL stock.

The scouts and NFL personnel folks do enough digging and evaluating to figure out who the best of the best really are, and you can bet that there aren't a lot of defensive tackles in college football who can measure up to what Wilkerson has to offer.

If you get a chance, turn on ESPN2 on Tuesday night to watch Temple host Ohio at 8 p.m. It's highly unlikely Wilkerson will leave you feeling disappointed. He looks like the real deal.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.