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Villanova looks to move on without Szczur and Whitney
Villanova football is back on the field, starting its preseason camp this week. The Wildcats look vastly different from the team that went deep into the playoffs the last two years, including winning the Football Championship Subdivision title in 2009.
All-around offensive player Matt Szczur and quarterback Chris Whitney are gone.
There’s a lot of offense Villanova to be made up without those two.
Several football players spoke at Villanova’s media day, including WR Norman White, a St. Joseph High School graduate, and redshirt freshman quarterback Dustin Thomas, a St. Augustine Prep graduate.
Here’s what they had to say:
On his role as a leader on the team: I feel like I build the team up when we are down. If we have a bad practice, I tell them we have to pick it up, or even if we have a good practice, I still have to stay that we need to pick up the tempo or something like that. I want to be the guy to look at to build the team up.
On how he can build on the breakout season he had last year: I am just continuing to work hard in the weight room, work hard both on and off the field to get ready for another big year.
On his goals for the upcoming season: My goals are the same as every year, for the team to have a winning record first and foremost and then to make the playoffs and from there have a chance to compete for another national championship.
On adjusting to playing with a new quarterback this season: over the summer, me and Dustin (redshirt freshman quarterback Dustin Thomas) spent a lot of time going over routes. The adjustment for me is just to keep running routes and get adapted to working with a new quarterback.
On what he is looking forward to entering the season: I am really looking forward to just getting back to football. Last year was the first year I can remember since I was about four or five years old that I sat out and watched people play football. I think it is going to be exciting to get back on the field and be getting back to playing with everybody else.
On replacing a great quarterback like Chris Whitney: What made Chris so incredible is that he had the ability to win no matter what, whether he did it with his feet or with his arm. I just want to be able to come in and help this team and lead them to victory, especially with the veteran players we have. I think with the receiving corps we have that will make it a lot easier for me to be able to help this team.
On what strengths he brings to the field: I just believe that I always have the mindset of winning and confidence in my ability to make plays. I want to help everybody stick together and move the offense at the same pace that a team like Oregon seems to move the offense.
By SUSAN LULGJURAJ, Press of Atlantic City