I wasn't a kid who played an extraordinary amount of video games growing up - but I'll never forget when Dad brought home Bill Walsh College Football (the first edition of what is now known as the NCAA Football series) and a Sega Genesis. Dad had already made me a college football fanatic through his love of Notre Dame, and now I was running the triple option with Irish legends like Tony Rice, Ricky Watters and Jerome Bettis - idols for me growing up. I'm not even sure the forward pass was a legal play in that game, and even if it was, I wasn't throwing.
Fast forward 20 years, and the while my playing style hasn't really evolved much besides the occasional Hail Mary, the NCAA Football Series has. The theme for this year's game is "Keep It Real" and amidst a host of new running features, I'm looking primed for my best dynasty yet.
OH WAIT. Villanova is still not a playable team in the game (unless you create them, like I do every year). So I thought it would be a fun exercise to discuss how I'm going create Villanova's 3-headed monster of a rushing attack - QB John Robertson, RB Kevin Monangai & RB Austin Medley - and run over every team that makes the mistake of showing up for a game with me.
(Editor's Note: We're only covering the ratings for categories most directly related to rushing)
QB John Robertson | 6'1" 210 lbs.
OVERALL - 83
SPEED - 88
STRENGTH - 78
AGILITY - 85
ACCELERATION - 88
BREAK TACKLE - 80
Robertson's emerging ability to effectively pass the ball has definitely led to an increase in rushing production as his scrambling ability is elite for the FCS level. While not a particularly big QB, Robertson possesses the quickness of a seasoned running back and the top-line speed that has led to his teammates saying he is one of the fastest players on the entire team. While back to back 1000 yard seasons would be quite the accomplishment, most 'Nova fans are probably hoping he doesn't leave himself open to a lot of punishment as an undersized QB.
RB Kevin Monangai | 5'8" 200 lbs.
OVERALL - 86
SPEED - 83
STRENGTH - 88
AGILITY - 85
AWARENESS - 89
ACCELERATION - 85
BREAK TACKLE - 92
Monangai is, and will be, Villanova's workhorse in the running game. As you can see in the highlights above, Monangai's greatest strengths are his vision and acceleration after the first cut which allows him to separate from the defense. At 200 pounds, Monangai isn't a burner, but he makes up for it with his ability to shake off tackles and pick up the extra 1-3 yards that can make a difference in keeping a drive alive or sending out the punting unit. He's coming off of an All-CAA, 1000 yard rushing campaign and should be one of the premier backs in all of FCS.
RB Austin Medley | 5'11" 190 lbs.
OVERALL - 81
SPEED - 91
STRENGTH - 80
AGILITY - 86
AWARENESS - 85
ACCELERATION - 88
BREAK TACKLE - 79
Depending on who you ask, it's either Austin Medley or the returning Jamal Abdur-Rahman who would be labeled as Villanova's home run threat. Medley possesses elite speed and thrives on plays run towards the outer edges of the field where he can utilize that asset. As 'Nova's change of pace back, he'll likely see less reps than Monangai and Robertson, but by letting those two soften up the defense, he should be a 'big hitter' so to speak for the Villanova offense in 2013.
Not many teams in the FCS can boast a rushing attack that consists of 3 players of this quality, and you'll see that on the field this fall as the Villanova Wildcats face one of the toughest schedules in the country.
Do you agree or disagree with my ratings? How would you create Villanova's team in the game? Also, be on the lookout for a second post in this series, in which I'm going to invite a community member to discuss things further with me.