August 31, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Villanova Wildcats wide receiver Norman White (8) has pass broken up by Temple Owls defensive back Anthony Robey (47) and defensive back Vaughn Carraway (14) in the corner of the end zone in the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
There was talk coming into the season that Norman White would have the potential to be an early NFL draft pick. He didn't quite perform to that level in the Mayor's Cup. He was rusty from spending last season on the sidelines with a foot injury and it showed. Catching just four balls for 33 yards, he also dropped a pass early on in the game that would have added to his total.
Running back Kevin Monangai ended the game as the leading pass-catcher instead.
White needs to get used to the speed of the game once again, get back into the groove of reading his defenders. He was double covered most of the night, but he didn't get consistent separation from the Temple corners in man-coverage. His routes were not as crisp as they used to be.
No doubt the I-A opponent was a harsh way to start the process of working his way back into the game this season. Fordham is up next week and White will likely look a little more dominant against the Patriot League opponent.
Optimum Scouting still thought that White was the top NFL prospect in the game, giving him a 4th-round grade after watching. The game was White's biggest, but not only, chance to get in front of NFL scouts. Some scouts will show up for his CAA games this season, and if it is believed that he will be drafted, he might be likely to get a Senior Bowl invite and hopefully an invitation to the NFL combine.
The key for White is to keep improving and shaking the rust off. Opportunities to rise and fall in the eyes of the NFL front offices will be plentiful the rest of the way.