April 13, 2012
Villanova is in the midst of its spring season and after spring practice number nine on Wednesday, April 11, head coach Andy Talley took a few minutes to provide an update on the Wildcat offense. He will give a similar update on the team's defense next week.
Villanova Head Coach Andy Talley Comments On The Villanova Offense
Talley On The Quarterback Position:
"The competition between Chris Polony and John Robertson has been fun to watch. They are both competing extremely well. The one thing that stands out is the improvement each player has made from last season. I am very pleased with both of them and I would expect the competition to carry over into preseason camp."
Talley On The Running Backs:
"I really like our running back situation. Austin Medley and Kevin Monangai give us a great 1-2 punch in the backfield. They are both bigger, stronger and faster. Austin is at the point where he is back to having breakaway speed. Kevin now has a much better grasp of the offense and looks very comfortable. Ransford Quarrie is another guy who has had a real good spring. He gives us a big back option to use in short yardage situations."
Talley On The Wide Receivers:
"This might be the deepest group of wide receivers that we have ever had. We have six or seven guys that can be put into the game. Norman White is back at 100 percent and looks terrific. He is the premier wide receiver in our league. Joe Price, Kenny Miles and Dorian Wells are also excellent compliments to Norman. Jamal Abdur-Rahman gives us a big play performer in the slot."
Talley On The Tight Ends:
"We have two tight ends that we like a lot in Earnest Pettway and Morgan Craig. Both have good size and we expect them to be contributors. Earnest has really emerged this spring as a legitimate receiving threat."
Talley On The Offensive Line:
"We had an unfortunate setback with this group early in spring when we lost Dan Shirey to a foot injury. To make-up for the injury, we had to move some guys around and I was very pleased with how they responded. This group gained a lot of experience last year. Some of them were thrown into the fire a little earlier than we would have liked last season, but the experience they came away with is really showing. If some of the younger guys continue to improve like they have we will have quality depth along the line for the first time."
BACK IN ACTION: After missing all of last season due to a lisfranc injury of the left foot, senior wide receiver Norman White is back at 100 percent and participating in spring drills. White has looked outstanding through the first nine practices of the spring. The next level has taken notice as a number of NFL scouts have stopped by Villanova Stadium to evaluate White. As a junior in 2010, White had a breakout year with 69 catches for 886 yards and 11 touchdowns. For his efforts in 2010, he was a first team All-CAA selection.
POSITION CHANGES: Three Wildcats have made position changes this spring. Former quarterback Dustin Thomas has moved to wideout. As a redshirt freshman last year, Thomas started four of the six games he played in at quarterback and completed 43-of-80 for 412 yards to go with two touchdowns and six interceptions. Sophomore Corey Reeder is moving from wide receiver to corner, while junior tight end Brennan Erbeznik is now a defensive end.
THE INJURY BUG: Highlighting the spring injury report for the Wildcats is senior center Dan Shirey. The 2011 first team All-CAA performer and Wildcat co-captain suffered an Achilles injury the first week of spring ball and is lost for the remainder of spring practice. His status for the 2012 campaign will be evaluated over the summer. Sophomore safety Joe Sarnese sustained a knee injury and will miss the rest of spring drills. Sarnese is expected to be back for preseason camp.
CAPTAINS NAMED: Senior offensive lineman Dan Shirey and senior wide receiver Norman White will serve as co-captains for this year's team. This is the second straight season that White will be a team captain. Shirey earned All-Conference accolades for the second straight year in 2011 when he garnered first team All-CAA acclaim. 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. White 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.
BONE MARROW DRIVE: Villanova University head football coach Andy Talley and the Wildcat football program will host their annual bone marrow testing drive on Thursday, April 19, on campus at the Connelly Center. Last year, Talley and the Wildcats had an impressive showing with over 600 people being tested and added to the national registry. In the last two years, Villanova has tested over 1,300 people during its annual testing drive. Now in his 20th year of association with the bone marrow donor program, Talley continues to hold testing drives to get people tested and typed into the national registry. Since 1992, Talley's efforts have resulted in over 20,500 potential donors being successfully tested and entered into the registry.
SCHEDULE UPDATE: The Wildcats have six practices left in the 2012 spring season. Following workout number 10 on Friday, April 13, Villanova will have two weeks remaining. The team will practice Monday (April 16), Wednesday (April 18) and Friday (April 20) next week, before finishing up on Monday, April 23 and Wednesday, April 25. Weather permitting, all practices are held at Villanova Stadium from 8-10:30 a.m.