Football Team Begins Spring Drills
March 19, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats opened up the 2012 spring season this morning with a two hour workout at Villanova Stadium. The Wildcats practiced from 8-10:30 a.m. Today is the first of 15 practices that will run through April 25. A complete spring schedule is listed below.
"I am excited to get our football team back on the field. We have had a very good off season in regards to lifting and conditioning. I want to see us maintain that intensity level in spring practice," said veteran head coach Andy Talley. "The record didn't show it but we showed great improvement throughout last season. The experience our young players gained last year was invaluable as we move forward. We need to continue that improvement in these 15 practices so we are ready to be a formidable football team in the fall."
Villanova returns 21 starters and 30 letterwinners from last year's squad. The only starter who will not return is cornerback James Pitts who has been lost to graduation. Of the 21 starters, three earned All-CAA honors last season, including senior center Dan Shirey (first team), sophomore linebacker Dillon Lucas (third team) and junior punter Mark Hamilton (third team).
Shirey earned All-Conference accolades for the second straight season. As a sophomore in 2010 he was a second team All-League honoree. Shirey started all 11 games for the Wildcats last year and was the anchor for an inexperienced offensive line. He helped Villanova average 295.2 yards of total offense per game, including 138.4 rushing yards per contest.
Lucas started all 11 games as a true freshman and led the Wildcats in tackles with 92, including 51 solo stops. He also added three tackles for loss and two quarterback sacks. His best game of the season came against Old Dominion on Oct. 22 when he tallied 12 total stops. Lucas was also the CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year, as well as the ECAC Rookie of the Year.
In his first year as the team's punter, Hamilton punted 55 times this past season for 2,352 yards for an average of 42.8 yards per punt. Of the 55 punts, 11 were of 50 yards or longer and 17 of the 55 were placed inside the opponent 20-yard line. Villanova will also get a big boost from the return of senior wide receiver Norman White who missed all of last season due to a lisfranc injury of the left foot. White had a breakout year as a junior in 2010 with 69 catches for 886 yards and 11 touchdowns. For his efforts in 2010, White was a first team All-CAA selection.
The Wildcats will kickoff the 2012 season on August 31 against Temple at Lincoln Financial Field in the fourth annual Mayors Cup Game.
2012 SPRING PRACTICE DATES
Monday, March 19
** All practices are currently scheduled from 8-10:30 a.m. at Villanova Stadium**