Aug. 6, 2012
The Villanova Wildcats officially opened the 2012 campaign on Sunday afternoon. Head coach Andy Talley and the Wildcats went through a two and a half hour workout on the Villanova Stadium turf. Villanova will have a three week preseason camp before classes begin on the Main Line on Monday, August 27.
"It was great to get the season started," said Talley. "I like the dedication that this team showed throughout the offseason. I think we are in a good place both mentally and physically. Our goal is to get better each day throughout the preseason. I am looking forward to seeing how much we improved from the end of last year to now."
Villanova returns 20 starters and 32 letterwinners from last year's team. The Wildcats open up the 2012 season on Friday, August 31, against Temple at Lincoln Financial Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Two Wildcats were chosen preseason first team All-CAA. Senior center Dan Shirey and junior defensive lineman Antoine Lewis earned the honor by vote of CAA head coaches and league personnel. Shirey, who will serve as a tri-captain for the 2012 team, is one of the top offensive lineman in the conference. As a junior last year, he earned first team All-CAA honors. During his sophomore campaign in 2010, he was a third team All-League honoree. He also garnered a spot on the 2011 CAA All-Academic team. Lewis will be in his third season as a starter in 2012. As a sophomore in 2011, he tallied 44 total tackles (24 solo), four tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and a sack. Lewis earned third team All-CAA honors as a freshman in 2010.
Villanova is expected to get a big boost from the return of fifth-year senior wideout Norman White who missed all of last season due to a foot injury. As a junior in 2010, White had a breakout year with 69 catches for 886 yards and 11 touchdowns. For his efforts in 2010, White was a first team All-CAA selection. He has been named a preseason second team All-American this season.
NOTES: Senior safety Ronnie Akins will join Shirey and White as tri-captains in 2012...The Wildcats had 86 players report for camp...Villanova has 17 scholarship freshman on the roster...Villanova will open the home portion of its schedule on Saturday, Sept. 8, against Fordham at 6 p.m.