The theme all preseason for Temple has been how much more depth the Owls have across the board. A great example is in the defensive backfield.

Last year, the secondary was one of the thinnest positions at Temple, but it now provides substantial depth.

The Owls coaching staff doesn't utilize a depth chart, only listing players above and below the line. Players above the line are considered ready to play that week's game.

When asked how many players could be above the line for the Sept. 1 opener against Villanova at Lincoln Financial Field, first-year Temple defensive backs coach Nathan Burton gave a high estimate.

"I would say about seven at each position," Burton said on Thursday. "It is a deep group, a fun group and we are going to be fresh, we're going to be fast all game. It gives us a lot of options."

Burton said that one of the strategies against the Wildcats is to throw waves of bodies at their wide receivers.

"We will play our depth," said Burton, who was a quality control assistant for the defense last year at North Carolina State. "Let our guys play and be fresh and have fun."

Senior first-team all-conference performer Delvon Randall will be one starter at safety. The two cornerback starters are expected to be senior transfer Rock Ya-Sin from FCS Presbyterian College and junior Linwood Crump, who was the No. 3 corner last year.

Junior Benny Walls, from St. Joe's Prep, could be the other starting safety opposite Randall. Others in the safety mix include graduate transfer Rodney Williams from Syracuse, redshirt sophomores Keyvone Bruton and Amir Tyler, and graduate student Jyquis Thomas, who is still rounding into form following a season-ending foot injury last year. Thomas insists he will be ready for the season opener.

Burton is equally high on the depth at corner. Redshirt sophomore Kimere Brown, from Penns Grove, has made an immediate impression.

"Kimere has probably progressed the most in the spring since I have been here," Burton said.

Redshirt freshmen Ty Mason and Christian Braswell have been cited at different times in training camp and a player who has really come along is true freshman DaeSean Winston, who stood out in last Saturday's team scrimmage at Franklin Field.

"He is a freshman and he came in and decided, 'I am going to play with the big boys, I am going to play fast and physical,' " Burton said. "He gives relentless effort he is tough and the older guys keep him accountable and he buys into the program. He will take some reps."

Temple will have various packages to get five and six defensive backs on the field at one time and at least for now, with the defensive backs in relatively good health, there are plenty of candidates to fill the positions.