Norman White, Villanova’s outstanding wide receiver, can hardly wait for the first game of the season. It should be a big one. Villanova will face Temple in the fourth annual Mayor’s Cup at Lincoln Financial Field on Friday, August 31 at 7 p.m. Moreover, White is excited about returning to the gridiron after missing last season with a foot injury.
“I love that game,” said White, who hails from St. Joseph’s High in Hammonton, N.J. “It’s one of my favorite games all year being a South Jersey guy. My family comes to that game. We’re out on the (Philadelphia) Eagles field. I went there when I was little and growing up.
“It’s a really big game for me personally. It’s a big game for our team. It’s our first game. Temple is our little rival. I feel like we’re going to come out strong and give all we got.
“I didn’t play last year. I just want to help the team and get back on the field and help my team as much as possible. I’ve been rehabbing my foot and getting back in shape. I sat the whole season out. It feels right good right now.”
White, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound senior, should give the Wildcats a big boost offensively. He has been named to The Sports Network preseason second team All-American squad. As a junior, he had a tremendous year. He caught 69 passes for 866 yards and 11 touchdowns. He received first team All CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) honors.
Villanova really struggled without him last year. Temple crushed Villanova 42-7 in the season opener. The Wildcats had a rough 2011, finishing with a 2-9 record. But things should be a lot better with White back in the fold.
“In Norman White, you have a go to guy, which we didn’t have last year,” said Andy Talley, Wildcats head coach. “Norman is probably the best receiver in the league. He’s a pro prospect and a guy you will definitely look for in third down situations and in the red zone.”
White feels the Wildcats will have plenty of competition in the CAA. The conference has some great teams such as Delaware, Old Dominion, James Madison and Maine.
“The CAA is always a strong conference,” White said. “You have to bring your ‘A’ game every time you come out to play. I think it’s going to be real competitive this year. You have Delaware, JMU and a lot of teams that are going to be good this season. We’re going to have to come out and play hard every game. I feel like we’re going to have a pretty good season.”
There should be a lot of NFL scouts on the Main Line this season. White doesn’t mind the attention from scouts, but certainly wants to make a difference in terms of making Villanova a better football team this season.
“I mean, playing in the NFL has always been a dream of mine,” White said. “If it happens, that’s fine. Right now, I’m trying to help the seniors. I want the team to have a better record than last year.”