Temple receiver Ventell Bryant, who fell out of favor and was thrown off the team for a week last year, has continued his resurgence with an honor he received from the team.

Coach Geoff Collins said Monday during the American Athletic Conference media call that Bryant, a redshirt senior, had received the No. 1 jersey.

The Owls present the single-digit jerseys to players who show their toughness and dedication to the program. Center Matt Hennessy also received a single digit, but Hennessy won't be able to wear the No. 3 because of rules against offensive linemen wearing single-digit numbers.

Bryant earned No. 1 during training camp in 2016 but had it stripped from him early last season. Instead, Temple gave out the No. 1 on a weekly basis to the player who showed great effort in the previous game.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Bryant was dismissed from the team last year after a 31-28 overtime loss at Army on Oct. 21, but a group of players forming the team's unity council went to Collins to plead Bryant's case. He missed the next game, against Navy, but rejoined the team for the rest of the season.

Bryant caught 54 passes for 895 yards and four touchdowns in 2016 but slumped last year to 29 receptions for 280 yards and no scores. Part of his frustration last season was because of a bothersome hamstring, which he reinjured during preseason training camp in 2017.

This summer, Bryant has been seen working constantly with the young receivers after practice.

"I am so excited about how he has attacked the spring and offseason conditioning and the man he was and the leader he was during the summer program," Collins said Monday. "He has had a really good preseason camp, being a leader and setting a standard and culture with the young players, how to handle business and overcome adversity."

Collins says that Temple's unity council, which he estimated contained 17-18 players, voted for the single-digit numbers that were presented to Bryant and Hennessy.


The Owls open their season Saturday with a noon game at Lincoln Financial Field against Villanova. … Three veterans who are coming off injuries and have been worked in slowly during preseason — linebacker Chapelle Russell, receiver Brodrick Yancy and safety Jyquis Thomas — are expected to be available against Villanova, according to Colllins. Russell and Yancy are coming off ACL injuries and Thomas had a foot injury. … Offensive lineman Vince Picozzi, who started six games last year at guard but was slowed by injury this preseason, is also expected to be available, Collins said. … Four freshmen who were cited by Collins for their strong play were tight end David Martin-Robinson, safety DaeSean Winston and offensive tackles Adam Klein and Isaac Moore.