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Early 2015 Villanova Football Preview: Quarterbacks & Running Backs

The 'Cats return John Robertson, but is Gary Underwood ready to carry the rushing load?

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Each day up until Christmas Eve, we'll be breaking down who Villanova football is losing, bringing back, and bringing in at each position.


(walk-ons in italics)

Outgoing: Chris Polony

Returning: John Robertson, Cody Pittman, Peter Burkly, Zack Bednarczyk

Incoming: Adeyemi Da Silva

All is good on the Main Line with Walter Payton Award winner John Robertson returning for his senior season, and he'll be looking to leave his mark after missing season-ending loss to Sam Houston State with a concussion. Chris Polony might be a bigger loss than some want to admit though. He was marvelous in emergency relief against the Bearkats, and now Andy Talley is one injury away from leaning on either Bednarcyzk or Da Silva.

We haven't seen anything from Burkly yet, but Pittman has handled holding duties and has been involved in a couple trick plays throughout his career.

Bednarczyk, a dual-threat lefty, redshirted this year and will hopefully get some blowout reps next season. It'd be nice for Da Silva, another dual-threat, to preserve some eligibility next season, setting up a massive battle for the starting job in the summer of 2016 to succeed Robertson.

Overall, this is a well-stocked position on the roster.

Running Backs

(walk-ons in italics)

Outgoing: Kevin Monangai, Austin Medley, Fred O'Connor

Returning: Gary Underwood, Javon White, Matt Gudzak

Incoming: Jarrett McClentonD'Andre Pollard

Quite simply, losing both Kevin Monangai and Austin Medley in the same year is going to sting. Monangai finished his career with 3,441 total yards and 34 TDs. Austin Medley was always the change of pace back, and averaged over 5 ypc for his career en route to 1,659 total yards and 12 TDs. That's a lot of offense to be losing in one fell swoop.

Fred O'Connor leaves the program with a ton of respect, and was the key cog in Albany coach Greg Gattuso's bush league comments. Thank you for your service, Fred.

The good news (hopefully) is that the year's breakout offensive player, Gary Underwood, should be back healthy for 2015. Underwood was a menace both running and catching the ball, but it remains to be seen if he'll see the type of workload that Monangai did.

Javon White redshirted in 2014, and the speedster will return to the fold next year both in the backfield and on special teams. Matt Gudzak saw reserve duty this year, and even broke off a long touchdown run against Fordham. Ball security was the main issue with Gudzak, but that can be fixed.

There's a lot to be excited about with regards to the incoming freshmen. Both are smaller backs at just 5'7", but possess the type of raw speed that makes them a constant threat to get to the end zone and change the game in the blink of an eye. McClenton and Pollard are both FBS-level talents, but their lack of size kept them in the FCS ranks. Expect at least one of them to make a push for playing time in 2015 as Andy Talley looks to find gamebreakers for John Robertson.