As the Villanova football team struggles along in a rebuilding year, all senior Norman White can do is watch and offer moral support from the sideline.
White, the Wildcats 2010 first-team all-Colonial Athletic Association wide receiver, is out for the season after suffering a lisfranc fracture in his left foot during a preseason workout.
White was granted a medical redshirt, and will be back next year.
``I was running a slant,” White said, ``and two defensive backs were going for the ball. My foot got caught between the both of them. It didn’t really hurt until the next morning when I stepped off my bed. I went to the trainer, and it got better. But I tried to run again during a scrimmage, and messed it up again.”
Since White’s injury was a partial tear instead of a complete tear, it was determined that he didn’t need surgery. He is still wearing the walking boot he was fitted with when he was first injured. When White can begin rehab has not been determined as yet.
Last season, when ‘Nova reached the Football Championship Subdivision semifinals, the 6-3, 205-pound White caught 69 passes for 886 yards and 10 touchdowns. During one stretch, the graduate of St. Joseph’s High in South Jersey caught at least one touchdown pass in six straight games.
Prior to this season, White was just one weapon the veteran Wildcats had. This year, he may have been the only one as ‘Nova coach Andy Talley has not had a playmaker emerge from the young Wildcats.
It had been said that this year’s edition is one of the youngest Talley has had in 27 years at ‘Nova. Talley recently set the record straight: this is youngest team he’s ever had.
``Missing him really hurts,” Talley said. ``He’s our franchise player and our big-play player. He’s a potential pro guy.”
In the inexperience department among the Wildcats, they have redshirt freshman Dustin Thomas, true freshman Chris Polony and redshirt senior Christian Culicerto trying to figure out the quarterback position. Thomas, the first-game starter, was injured in ‘Nova’s second outing after sitting out all of but one game last season due to a case of mononucleosis.
Thomas may be back for Saturday’s contest at James Madison. Polony may start depending on how things unfold.
``The way things are going at the quarterback spot right now, this will allow him to come back with a more seasoned guy,” Talley said of White. ``He’ll be a little bigger, stronger, faster, smarter. He should have a great season.”
Meanwhile, White can only watch.
``It’s hard but I’m just trying to stay positive,” he said. ``Just trying to help the team as much as I can off the field. We have a lot of young guys, and we knew it’d be a hard season. I feel like we can use it as a rebuilding year, and we have a lot of guys coming back next season.”
Contact staff writer Kevin Tatum at (215) 854-2583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.