Villanova officially began preparations for the 2014 season on Sunday afternoon with a spirited workout on the Villanova Stadium turf. The team's preseason camp runs for three weeks leading up to the start of classes on Monday, August 25.
Entering the 2014 season, Villanova returns 15 starters and 33 letterwinners from last year's team that went 6-5 overall and 5-3 in CAA play. With an experienced group returning the Wildcats have their sights set on earning the program's fifth playoff appearance in the last seven years.
Villanova is picked to finish second in the CAA in the conference's preseason predicted order of finish, while the Wildcats are also ranked as high as No. 5 in the country in some preseason national polls.
Junior quarterback John Robertson (Paramus, N.J.) has been named the CAA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. He enters the 2014 season ranked fourth on Villanova's all-time rushing list with 2,426 yards and seventh on the school's all-time passing list with 3,922 yards through the air. Robertson is tied for second on the program's career touchdown list with 34 scores.
Robertson has also been named to the Walter Payton Award Watch List. The Payton Award is given to the top player in FCS Football. Last year as a sophomore, Robertson finished ninth in the Payton Award voting.
In addition to Robertson, two other Wildcats were named to the preseason All-CAA squad. The duo includes senior center Ross Hall (Leola, Pa.) and senior offensive tackle Vince Kowalski (Williamstown, N.J.).
Villanova opens the 2014 campaign on Friday, August 29, with a game at ACC member Syracuse. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Carrier Dome and the game can be seen on ESPN3
NOTES: Senior wide receiver Poppy Livers (Seaside, Calif.) and senior safety Joe Sarnese (Ventnor, N.J.) will serve as co-captains for the 2014 team ... Villanova had 90 players report to preseason camp ... The Wildcats will open the home portion of their schedule on Sept. 6 against Fordham ... The CAA opener is set for Sept. 20 with a home date versus James Madison ... Head coach Andy Talley enters his 30th season as the Wildcat leader in 2014.