Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Jalen Brunson chooses Villanova over Illinois


In a recruiting story of some local intrigue given the fact that his father is a Temple legend, Adlai E. Stevenson High School (IL) guard Jalen Brunson chose Villanova over University of Illiinois. Brunson, who is regarded by many as the best point guard in the recruiting class of 2015 sounded a common refrain when said that Villanova's family atmosphere played a big part in his choice to go to the Main Line.

Brunson bolsters an already strong 2014 recruiting class that features guard Donte DiVincenzo from Delaware and forward Tim Delaney from New Jersey. 

Watch Live: Jalen Brunson announcement


Happening at 5 PM eastern.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Highlights of Villanova's win over Fordham


An absolute demolition. A well deserved week off this weekend, and then they'll be back against James Madison on the 20th of this month.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

UPDATED: Things looking bright for Villanova with Jalen Brunson


I normally only comment on recruiting when I have actionable intel on someone, like when Villanova was out of the Amile Jefferson sweepstakes, or when I'm talking about how stupid it is to cover recruiting. Well, today fits into the former category, as I was told yesterday by people who would know that after his visit to the school, Villanova is now a leading contender for Illinois point guard Jalen Brunson, the son of former Temple player Rick Brunson, and that he COULD commit by this week. The key word there is could.

Now is the time to temper your expectations and remind everyone that we are talking about a kid who only turned 18 a week ago, and 18-year-olds tend not to be the most decisive people on earth and that they are prone to changing their minds, but judging from the vibes coming from Team Brunson, it's looking pretty good at the moment. 

UPDATE: 9/8- Brunson will announce his decision between Villanova and Illinois at 5 PM Eastern this Wednesday.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What major change did Villanova make after Syracuse?

Based on the newest depth chart, which was released today, Chris Gough, who struggled in kicking field goals against Syracuse, has been replaced by true freshman Steve Weyler for this Saturday's game against Fordham at Villanova Stadium. Weyler, a local kid from Cardinal O'Hara was listed as second on the depth chart in the last game, and was involved in a camp battle with Gough and fellow freshman Preston Seiler.

Gough will continue to handle kickoffs, a job he has excelled in for going on three seasons now. He will also continue to serve as backup punter.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

An Open Letter to Villanova Fans

Dear Villanova fans,

This is my semi-annual plea to you to attend Villanova football games. 

I know, Villanova football doesn't play "big time" college football, and it bothers me more than anyone that such a move did not happen in the late-90s when it was offered and subsequently discussed. This fact does not mean that Villanova football is an inferior product though. Andy Talley's program showcases the best quality football in the I-95 corridor, because Rutgers is a toilet, Temple perennially sucks, and Syracuse, as much as they would like to tell you that they are, is not in the I-95 corridor.

Judging by their all-around performance against Syracuse last Friday, this year's team has the potential to be a special one.  John Robertson has done things through his first two seasons that are unprecedented by any Villanova rusher or passer, he has a stud wide receiver in Poppy Livers, a capable offensive line, and the defense has arguably the deepest linebacker corps of the Andy Talley era. As demonstrated last Friday, the special teams are a bit of a work in progress, but that is the type of thing that will work itself out in time, especially with a team with a lot of kickers and that is generally well coached.

Go to games, and if you can't, and if financially feasible, buy season tickets anyways, the program deserves your support.

Thanks,

Mangement

Monday, September 1, 2014

John Robertson passes another Villanova great



For more than 20 years after his graduation, Vince Thompson's 2,533 career rushing yards made him Villanova's all time leading rusher. Then came Brian Westbrook, and he was relegated to second. Then, Aaron Ball came along and Thompson was fell to third all time. Last Friday at Syracuse, with his 115 net rushing yards, John Robertson passed Thompson to move into third all time in school history, with 2,542 career net yards. What makes Robertson's numbers even more impressive is that every time he is sacked, he gets rushing yards taken away from him per college rules. If Robertson was in the NFL, the numbers would be even more impressive.

Through 25 career games, Robertson is averaging more than 100 rushing yards per game, which is around what Brian Westbrook averaged per game.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Villanova-Syracuse highlights

 
All in all a pretty encouraging performance, and a marked improvement on last season. John Robertson is special.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Villanova loses heartbreaker in overtime to Syracuse, 27-26


Harrass this man

John Robertson and Poppy Livers are American heroes. 

More to come.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 4 is for...



Matt Szczur

Wide Receiver, Running Back, Quarterback, Kick Returner, Messiah: 2007-2010

Prior to recently, when you would name the greatest players in Villanova history, names like Billy Joe, Al Atkinson, Mike Siani, Howie Long, Brian Finneran, Chris Boden, Brian Westbrook, Brett Gordon, and Raymond Ventrone would come up, but Matt Szczur did something that none of the previous players was able to do- lead The Wildcats to a National Championship.  Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 38th round out of Lower Cape May High School, and with several high level scholarship offers to play baseball under his belt, the fact that Matt Szczur came to Villanova in the first place is a bit of a blessing. 

Boy am I glad that he did come to Villanova.  In four years on the Main Line, Szczur finished his career with a stat line that doesn't adequately describe his true value to his team.  He holds few Villanova records, and he isn't even in the top ten in career receiving yards at the school.  One thing I do know about Matt Szczur: he is the single most versatile athlete that Villanova has ever had. 

He recently made his Major League debut for the Chicago Cubs. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 5 is for...



Antwon Young

Quarterback- 2005-2009

After seeing him start and play well at Maryland in 2007, I was convinced that Fort Lauderdale, Florida native Antwon Young was going to be a stud three year starter for Villanova.  A few weeks later against William & Mary, everything was thrown out the window.  In that game, Young suffered an ACL tear, Chris Whitney came into the game, and the rest is history.  Young was still able to make an impact, including replacing an ineffective Whitney in a game against Penn in 2009, and a ridiculous 82 yard touchdown run against Towson in that same year.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 6 is for...



Ronnie Akins 

Safety: 2009-2012

After establishing himself as a special teams missile in 2009, carved out a more defined role on defense in 2010 and then became one of the leaders on the defense in 2011 and 2012. Finished his career with 10 career interceptions.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 8 is for...


Norman White

Wide Receiver

2008-2012

One of Villanova's great recent wide receivers, Norman White had one of the finest junior seasons a Villanova receiver has ever had when he caught 69 balls for 886 yards with 11 touchdowns in 2010. After a foot injury forced him out the entire 2011 season, White was hobbled in 2012, his final season, but was still a beast run blocking, helping set the edge for the greatest Villanova running game in history.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 9 is for...



JJ Outlaw

Wide Receiver: 2002-2005

Nicknamed "Hollywood" by his teammates for the relative ease in which operated with the media, J.J. Outlaw held essentially all the same responsibilities in the Villanova offense that Matt Szczur did. The son of a former NFL player turned NBA assistant coach, Outlaw led Villanova in receiving in each season from 2003-2005 and is currently fourth in school history in career receptions and sixth in career receiving yards. Is now following in his fathers footsteps as a basketball coach.

Career Stats:
94 Rushing Attempts
754 Rushing Yards
199 Receptions
2,326 Receiving Yards
18 Total Touchdowns

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 10 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 31 against Boston College, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past.a Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.
 
Brett Gordon
 
Quarterback- 1998-2002

I like Chris Whitney, John Robertson has been great as a starter so far, and Chris Boden was a great quarterback, but if Brett Gordon wasn't 5'10 (generously listed as such), there is no way in hell that he would have gone to Villanova. If Gordon were 6'2, he would have ended up at at a school like Miami or Penn State, and I'm convinced that he would be just as good. A dropback passer in every sense of the word, Brett Gordon was one criminally officiated game against McNeese State away from leading VU to Chattanooga in 2002. Gordon was great his first two years as a starter, but he proved his mettle in his his senior year; the year after Brian Westbrook graduated. In 2002, Brett Gordon became the only Villanova quarterback to ever throw for over 4,000 yards in the act of carrying his team on his shoulders to the National Semifinals, but he was robbed of the Walter Payton Award by some chubby chaser from Eastern Illinois named Tony Romo.

If I have any trepidation about saying that Chris Whitney is the greatest quarterback in Villanova history, it is because I saw Brett Gordon at his best. I saw the player who torched Rutgers, and put up ungodly numbers against conference opponents.
 
Career Stats:
833 Completions
1246 Passing Attempts
9.639 Passing Yards
83 Touchdowns

Monday, August 18, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 11 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 31 against Boston College, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past.a Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.
 
Tom Colombo
 
Quarterback- 1989-1992

At 5'7 inches tall, Tom Colombo may have been the shortest quarterback in Villanova history, but he was also one of the best quarterbacks in school history.  A former walk-on, and nephew of heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano (who himself was diminutive,) Colombo started for three seasons at Villanova and is fifth on the school's passing list with over 5,000 career yards.  He was inducted into the Villanova Hall of Fame in 2010.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 13 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 31 against Boston College, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past.a Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.
 
Martel Moody
 
Safety- 2006-2010
When he first broke onto the scene, I thought that Martel Moody was going to be a superstar who would end up in the NFL due to his tremendous redshirt freshman season in 2007. That season, he led the team in interceptions, and looked like a genuine ballhawk. The next two seasons, Moody simply disappeared as he garnered sporadic playing time. He finally came back strong and started again in  the 2010 season and recovered a fumble against Delaware that got Villanova into the playoffs (above), but it leaves me to wonder what he could have been had he developed from where he was as a freshman.

Career Stats:
99 Tackles
6 Tackles For Loss
1.5 Sacks
17 Pass Deflections
7 Interceptions
1 Forced Fumble
1 Defensive Touchdown

Friday, August 15, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 14 is for...


Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 31 against Boston College, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past.a Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.  

 Ross Ventrone

Safety- 2007-2009

As the younger brother of former Villanova super stud and current Cleveland Browns safety Ray Ventrone, it is only natural that Ross Ventrone ended up on the Main Line.  After playing at Pitt for two seasons as a walk-on and earning little playing time, Ventrone decided to head east to his brother's alma mater in 2007 where he was offered a scholarship and was able to garner immediate playing time.  In his three years as a starter, he was one of the key cogs in a defense that ultimately led Villanova to its first ever national championship.

Although undersized, Ross Ventrone was a strong hitter, an instinctual cover man, and very good in run support.

Is currently in training camp with his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers

 Career Stats:
198 Tackles
7 Tackles For Loss
3 Sacks
7 Interceptions
1 Defensive Touchdown

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 15 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 31 against Boston College, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past.a Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.  


Frank Jankowski

Quarterback: 2003-2005

A highly touted recruit, Frank Jankowski was expected to do big things at Villanova. Unfortunately for him, he had Marvin Burroughs directly in front of him in line for the starting quarterback job. If you read A Season In Purgatory, you will find that Jankowski's relationship with the coaching staff was contentious, as he felt that he wasn't given the opportunity to compete with Burroughs like he felt he was promised. In the 2005 season, when Burroughs got hurt in the opening game, Jankowski stepped into the starting role and performed admirably given his lack of first team reps for him beforehand. Unfortunately, the 2005 team was collectively terrible and Jankowski feuded with the coaches, and he left the football team after that season, going on to be a pitcher for the baseball team.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 16 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 31 against Boston College, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past.a Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.  

Joe Casamento

Quarterback: 2001-2004

One usually does not have a career as long as Andy Talley has if they make a lot of mistakes, and for the most part, Andy Talley's tenure at Villanova has been largely without glaring mistakes. The rush to promote Marvin Burroughs to the starting quarterback job in 2004 when he already had Joe Casamento, perfectly capable in his own right may just qualify as one of them. Casamento had proved that he was more than capable in 2003, setting a then-school record by completing 68.2% of his passes. The fact is that he always had Burroughs breathing down his neck from the moment he took his first snap as Villanova's starter.

An extra year of Joe Casamento starting may have stabilized the program, and prevented it from going into the tail spin it did for two and a half seasons, but we'll never know what the effects of such a decision would have been, and the program has obviously recovered since then.

Career Stats:
325 Passing Attempts
216 Completions
2,121 Passing Yards
14 Touchdowns
12 Interceptions

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 17 is for...


Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.  

Chris Whitney

Quarterback- 2007-2010

Chris Whitney does not hold many Villanova records;  He was not the best athlete to play quarterback at VU; he didn't have the strongest arm; what you can say about Chris Whitney is that he is perhaps the toughest SOB ever to put on a Villanova uniform in any sport. Usually overshadowed by his more famous teammate Matt Szczur, and never given enough credit for what he could do on his own, Whitney managed to win 34 games, including Villanova's only national championship while losing only ten.  From the moment he stepped in for an injured Antwon Young, all Chris Whitney did was win.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 18 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.  

Chris Boden
 
Quarterback- 1996-1999

In 1997, Villanova quarterback Chris Boden had what is quite simply the greatest statistical season by a Villanova quarterback in the of the program.  In that magical season, Boden threw for over 3,700 yards and a school record 42 touchdowns for a team that went undefeated in the regular season and wound up finishing 12-1 after a heartbreaking loss to Youngstown State.

Now, 13 years after graduating from the Main Line, Boden is a football coach at ASA College in New York.

Chris Boden's Villanova career passing records


  • 10,146 passing yards
  • 99 passing touchdowns
  • 1,412 passing attempts
  • 868 career completions
2014 player wearing this number: Poppy Livers

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 19 is for...

 

Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well. 

John Robertson

Quarterback

2011-Present

In just two seasons as the starting quarterback for the Villanova football team, John Robertson has established himself as one of the greatest offensive weapons in team history, becoming the first Villanova quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards or more in his freshman year, and only the second Villanova player in history to rush for 1,000 yards more than once last season, his sophomore year. With 2,427 career rushing yards, Robertson is already fourth in school history in rushing yardage, less than 500 yards behind the second placer, Aaron Ball. In addition, Robertson is an  extremely efficient passer, setting a school record in 2013 with a 68.1% completion percentage.

What Villanova does this season is largely on the arm and legs of John Robertson.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 20 is for...


Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Brian Westbrook

Running  Back: 1997-2001

By stats or intuition, Brian Westbrook is simply the greatest player Villanova has ever had. He is the school's career rushing leader by a good margin, ended his collegiate career as the NCAA career leader in all purpose yards, was the first (and to this point only) player in NCAA history to gain 1,000 rushing and receiving yards in the same season, and has more than double the touchdowns as the second person on the Villanova career list. It also doesn't hurt his cause that he had an NFL career in which he was a two time All-Pro for the Philadelphia Eagles. After a senior season in which he gained 2,823 total yards and scored 29 touchdowns in only 11 games, Westbrook became the second player in school history to win the Walter Payton Award, after Brian Finneran won the award just four years earlier.

Let me just add that he achieved everything he did in college on one knee

Career Stats:
725 Carries
4,298 Rushing Yards
219 Receptions
2,582 Receiving Yards
2,289 Return Yards
84 Total Touchdowns

Friday, August 8, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 21 is for...

 

Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

John Dempsey
 
Safety: 2007-2010

A speedy safety who turned down offers from much bigger schools, John Dempsey went on to be a key contributor to the success of Villanova over the last four seasons. While Dempsey was adept in pass coverage, he excelled against the run and when he blitzed, as evidenced by his six sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss in the national championship season of 2009.

Career Stats:
242 Tackles
26 Tackles For Loss
10 Sacks
5 Interceptions
19 Pass Breakups
1 Defensive Touchdown

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 22 is for...

  
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Angelo Babbaro

Running Back: 2006-2010

Equally adept at running, receiving, and special teams made Angelo Babbaro far more valuable than his career ending stat-line would suggest. Originally a backup to Matt Dicken and Aaron Ball respectively, he earned his way onto the field more and more as his career wound on, eventually garnering a virtual 50/50 split between himself and Ball by his senior year.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 25 is for...


Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Brian Finneran

Wide Receiver: 1994-1997

If you use statistics as a basis, Brian Finneran is quite simply the greatest wide receiver in Villanova history. 16 years after his graduation, Finneran is still atop the Villanova career list in career receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. In his senior season of 1997, he caught 96 passes for 1,389 yards and 17 touchdowns, (the latter two of which are still school records) en route to being the first, and as of this writing only wide receiver to ever win the 1997 Walter Payton Award as the best player in I-AA football. After he left Villanova,  he spent some time in NFL Europe with the Barcelona Dragons, and then with the Seahawks and Eagles before settling on the Falcons, for which he played for ten seasons until he was not re-signed earlier this season.

A year ago,  he was named to the Madden All-25 team based on his dominance in Madden 04, so video game legend is another item on his CV.

Career Stats:
265 Receptions
3,872 Yards
34 Touchdowns

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 26 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.
 
Allyn Bacchus
 
Safety: 2003-2006

Allyn Bacchus is one of the rare players who doesn't redshirt, yet is still able to start every game of his collegiate career. A six foot safety from Hampton Virginia, a city that produces some of the best athletic talent per capita as any other part of America, Bacchus was a tackling machine in the defensive backfield, a leader on the field, and a central figure in the amazing turnaround Villanova underwent at the end of the 2006 season, leading the team in tackles with 103 and interceptions with two to help the team finish over .500 after an abysmal start to their season.

Career Stats:
 
374 Tackles
8 Tackles For Loss
1.5 Sacks
3 Interceptions
13 Pass Break Ups
3 Forced Fumbles
3 Fumble Recoveries

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 27 is for...

Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.
Terry Butler

Running Back- 2001-2004

After backing up Brian Westbrook during his freshman season, Terry Butler took over as a sophomore and became the feature back for Villanova's 2002 national semifinal run. During the 2002 season, Butler ran for 868 rushing yards on 202 carries and scored 12 touchdowns. As his career wound on, he began to share the load more and more with Moe Gibson, but he still ranks fourth all time in school history in career rushing yards with 2,220 yards, and scored as many total touchdowns in his career as Matt Szczur. After his Villanova career was over, Butler spent the 2005 season in the NFL with the New York Jets.

Career Stats:
498 Carries
2,220 Rushing Yards
30 Total Touchdowns

Friday, August 1, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 28 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.


Safety: 2001-2004

Rarely do you hear about coaches wanting players to be less physical in practice, but if Ray Ventrone went all out in practice, he would have knocked out every Villanova skill position player possible, because he hit that hard. Before getting injured against Penn during his senior year of 2004, Villanova had arguably the best defense in school history, but his injury absolutely devastated the team. Ventrone recovered from his injury, and looked good enough that he was signed by the New England Patriots, where he spent a few years on the practice squad before eventually making the active roster, including being active for Super Bowl XLII and making what looked at the time to be a game saving tackle on a kickoff. Ray's younger brother Ross later came to Villanova, and was a starter at safety on the 2009 National Championship team. Ray currently plays for the San Francisco 49ers after a stint with the Cleveland Browns.
Career Stats:
251 Tackles
19 Tackles For Loss
2 Sacks
11 Pass Breakups 
1 Interception
5 Forced Fumbles
4 Fumble Recoveries

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 29 is for...

Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Brad Finneran

Wide Receiver: 1994-1997
Brad Finneran had a very solid career, and on another Villanova team, he probably would have been the star, but he happened to have an identical twin brother who holds almost every single meaningful receiving record at the school. Brad's greatest contribution at Villanova was as a reliable possession receiver on the 1997 Atlantic-10 championship team for whom he had 47 catches for 727 yards and three touchdowns.

Also was a legendary intramural basketball player along with his brother.
Career Stats:
96 Receptions
1,252 Receiving Yards
6 Touchdowns

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 30 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.


Matt McCann

Safety: 2011-Present

A redshirt junior who should be one of the key cogs of the Villanova secondary next year, playing close to the line, which is the key position on the defense.Unfortunately, due to injury, McCann was limited to only four games last season. His presence was missed as the defense regressed from the previous season.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 31 is for...

Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Joe Marcoux

Kicker: 2005-2008

In his four year career on the Main Line, Joe Marcoux went from an inconsistent kicker with a strong leg, to one of the greatest kickers in Villanova history, which isn't bad for a player who was ostracized by his high school teammates at Don Bosco Prep for playing at a I-AA school. Marcoux holds the school record for extra point attempts and conversions with nine in both categories, and ranks as fourth in school history in career points. Added to his career statistics is the fact that he was the first Villanova player to donate bone marrow for Andy Talley's foundation, which is notable all by itself.

One month left!

Villanova re-opens the Irish Pipeline with Siofra Cleirigh Buttner

Siofra Cleirigh Buttner- Off to Villanova

At the 1948 Olympics in London, two Villanova Olympians, George Guida and Browning Ross befriended Jimmy Reardon, a 400m runner from Dublin who was running for the Irish team and convinced him to accept an athletic scholarship to Villanova. Along with discus thrower Cummin Clancy and middle distance runner John Joe Barry, Reardon became the first Irish athlete to accept a scholarship to an American university. Over the next 50 years, some of Ireland's greatest athletes, including Olympic gold medalist Ron Delany, world champion and world record holder Eamonn Coghlan, world indoor champion Marcus O'Sullivan, and world champion and Olympic silver medalist Sonia O'Sullivan represented Villanova with distinction, helping the school dominate the Penn Relays.

In the late 1980s, Villanova's supremacy with Irish athletes began to dwindle, and by the late 90s, Villanova simply wasn't getting any good Irish talent, despite the fact that they were coached by one of the greatest Irish runners in history.

In the 2000s, Villanova began to look elsewhere on the globe for talent, and some of their most successful runners in recent years have come from Australia and New Zealand, mostly thanks to the success of  2002 NCAA indoor champ Adrian Blincoe, who became a Villanova assistant coach after he graduated from Villanova.

It also turns out that Marcus O'Sullivan has been stepping up his efforts on the Emerald Isle, and this year, his efforts have borne fruit for the first time in more than a decade, with Dublin native and six time Irish schoolgirl cross country champion Siofra Cleirigh Buttner, enrolling in classes for the fall.

With Emily Lipari graduating, Cleirigh Buttner is an immediate coup for the Villanova track and cross country teams given her pedigree back at home .

Monday, July 28, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 32 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.
 
Javon White

Tailback: 2012-Present

Junior tailback from Souderton, PA. Will see his share of snaps, but will be behind both Kevin Monangai and Austin Medley. Possible kick returner.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 33 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Darnell Greene

Defensive Back: 1998-2002

As a starter on the 2002 national semifinalist team, Darnell Greene contributed to one of the most underrated defenses in Villanova history, to go along with perhaps the greatest secondary in team . Greene finished the 2002 season tied for third on the team in total tackles with 83 and tied safety Gary Johnson for the team lead in interceptions with three. 

Career Stats:
Tackles: 200
Tackles For Loss: 9
Sacks: 1
Interceptions: 6
Pass Breakups: 7

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 34 is for...

Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.
Jamison Young
Linebacker: 1999-2002

Jamison Young's 2002 senior season may be the greatest season ever by a Villanova linebacker, which is saying something when you consider the great linebackers who have come along in program history. In that season, Young finished with 115 total tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, two interceptions, six pass breakups, and one forced fumble in 15 games. In 2001, he led all of I-AA football with five forced fumbles, and the team with 89 total tackles.

Career Stats:
286 Tackles
31 Tackles For Loss
21 Sacks
2 Interceptions
9 Pass Breakups
6 Forced Fumbles
2 Fumble Recoveries

Friday, July 25, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 35 is for...


Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.

Billy Joe 

Fullback: 1960-1962
Villanova's last ever bowl win was the 1961 Sun Bowl, a game in which Billy Joe was the MVP. Although Joe gained less than 600 yards on the ground during his career on the Main Line, he remains one of Villanova's all time great players because of his accomplishments as a professional (1963 AFL Rookie of The Year, 1965 AFL All Star) while playing with the Broncos, Bills, Dolphins, and Jets. On top of his accomplishment on the football field, Joe also was on the track team, and still holds the Villanova record for the shot put.
After his career as a player, Billy Joe became a coach, most notably for Florida A&M and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in that capacity in 2007.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 36 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.


Gary Underwood

Running Back: 2012-Present

Former high school quarterback who is a part of a talented stable of Villanova running backs. If Villanova does any trick plays where someone other than the quarterback throws the ball, Underwood is likely to be that person. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 37 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.
 
Defensive Back: 2012-Present
 
Reserve defensive back, and a REALLY hard position  to find pictures for.
 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 38 is for...

 
 
 Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.     

Adam Nelson

Long Snapper: 2010-2012

Two sport athlete who played long snapper on the football team and catcher on the baseball team.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 40 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.     


Frank Boal

Runningback: 1966-1968

Finished his career with 1,005 career rushing yards, and still holds the school record for most career punt return yardage with 649. In his three year career, Frank Boal led Villanova in rushing once, and scoring twice.

After his playing career was over, he was a sportscaster in Kansas City. Boal was inducted to the Villanova Hall of Fame in 2007.

2014 player wearing this number: Fred O'Connor

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 41 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.     
 
Cameron Cross

Fullback: 1998-2002

Mostly a receiver out of the backfield, Cross finished his career with 106 receptions for 867 yards, not very shabby when you consider the fact that he was a fullback who had to share a backfield with perhaps the greatest receiving running back in the history of college football.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 42 is for...


Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.     
Curtis Eller

Linebacker: 1989-1992


Some numbers are particularly difficult to assign to a player. The first time I did this, I assigned 42 to Brian Hulea, who is Villanova's all time leader in tackles. This time however, I have decided to assign 42 to a different player, Curtis Eller, who was Villanova's first ever two-time all-American, a two time Yankee Conference player of the year, and is still second in school history in career tackles. After his career on the Main Line, Eller played with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL.

When his number was retired in 1998, Villanova head coach Andy Talley had this to say about Eller:


"Curtis is the best linebacker that ever played in the new Villanova era. He was the first two-time All-American at Villanova and the only player here named to the Yankee Conference All-Time Team. Curtis is easily one of the most celebrated players of any football era at Villanova, and he is the best linebacker I have ever coached."
Even from someone whose first language is hyperbole like Andy Talley, that's especially pretty high praise. 

2014 player wearing his number: Corey Majors

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 43 is for...

 Third from left
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.     
 
Delano Ferguson
 
Linebacker: 2008-2011
A native of Jamaica, West Indies, Delano Ferguson spent much of his time on the Main Line covering kicks. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 44 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.    

Devon Bridges

Linebacker: 2009-2012

Linebacker who increased his role in each of his four seasons on the Main Line, culminating with a 2012 season where he was one of the best defensive players on a resurgent Wildcats team who stormed back to the playoffs after one of the worst seasons in team history.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 45 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.    

Austin Calitro

Linebacker: 2012-Present

In a crowded Villanova linebacker corps, Austin Calitro will battle for playing time, most of which will likely come on special teams.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 46 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.    

Jeremy Rodriguez

Linebacker- 2008-2011

Oft-injured linebacker who was an ace on special teams. Never started on a team of consequence, but was a missile covering kicks.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 48 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.    

Will Thompson

Long Snapper, 2006-2009

Starting long snapper for the 2009 National Championship team.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 49 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.    
 
 
Nick Yako 
 
Kicker 2009-2012
 
Strong-legged kicker for the 2009 national championship who made some huge kicks in that season but struggled the very next season. Did an admirable job, but was replaced by Villanova legend Mark Hamilton.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 50 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.    

Dan Shirey

Center/Guard 2009-2013

On the 2009 national championship team, Villanova had two true freshman starters, Dan Shirey at guard and Eric Loper at cornerback. While Loper had started since the beginning of the season, Shirey first started in the game at Penn a few weeks into the season. Shirey started in the 2010 and 2011 seasons at center until hurting himself in 2012 and being forced to sit out the entire season and take a medical redshirt year. He came back in 2013 and played vey well as the Villanova running game was brilliant once again. It also had the positive consequence of allowing guard Kyle Wallace to redshirt last season, giving the Villanova offensive line an extra year with a talented player who will be able to start for four seasons.

We're halfway throught the countdown.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 51 is for...

 
 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.    
 
 
Joe Makoid
 
Defensive Tackle: 2008-2011
 
A second generation Villanova football player, Joe Makoid saw fairly limited action his first three years on the Main Line, but wound up seeing substantial playing time in his 2011 senior season.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 52 is for...


Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.    

Pat "Hammer" Williams

Defensive Tackle: 2011-Present

After being stuck behind Villanova great Antoine Lewis his first two seasons on Villanova's three man defensive line, Pat Williams saw substantially more action in 2013 as Villanova played with four man defensive fronts more often. Williams rose to the occasion, finishing third on the team with eight tackles for loss. This year, Williams should be the primary defensive tackle after the graduation of Antoine Lewis and he is the team's top returning defensive lineman.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 53 is for...

 
Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.    
 
Jamil Butler

Defensive End: 2000-2004

A three year starter and four year contributor on the dominant Villanova 4-2-5 defenses of the early 2000s, Norristown native Jamil Butler finished his career on the Main Line with 23.5 sacks, one of the highest totals in school history. Also tallied 229 tackles and 40 tackles for loss for his career, tremendous numbers for a defensive lineman.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Villanova football season countdown: 54 is for...

 

Leading up to the opening game of the Villanova football season on August 29 against Syracuse, Fact on Villanova Sports will be counting down the days between now and the beginning of the football season using the jersey numbers of Villanova football players of the past and present. For as many numbers as possible, effort will be taken to introduce players from the current team, with the exception of "important" players from the past. Also, it's a ton of work to get pictures of all the players, so it may be incomplete. Oh well.   

Dillon Lucas

Linebacker: 2011-Present

After a freshman season where he had over 100 tackles, Dillon Lucas cooled off in his 2012 sophomore season after a torn labrum in his shoulder. In 2013, he redshirted because of an injury that kept him out the entire season. Dillon Lucas does have ability, and Villanova has openings in the linebacker corps. Expect him to see plenty of action.