Friday, February 4, 2011

NFL: Nova Football League

Villanova’s return home after their 3-game road trip wasn’t as sweet as they had hoped it would be. Austin Freeman led Georgetown with 30 points in a 69-66 victory over Nova in Philly. However, Nova’s true return home to the cozy confines of the on-campus Pavilion was just what they needed to halt a 2-game losing streak. The 75-70 win over Marquette marked the Wildcats’ 46th-straight victory at the Pavilion. Now if only Jay Wright could figure out a way to move the Big East and NCAA Tournaments to the Pavilion…

With the Super Bowl approaching this Sunday, it got me thinking. What if Villanova’s basketball players chose a different path? What if they ditched the hardwood for the gridiron and devoted their lives to the sport of football instead of basketball? Could they do it?

I could see Corey Fisher being a Ray Rice-like running back. He’s quick and has a compact frame, plus he has a knack for bouncing off of defenders on his way to score. With 6-pointers, instead of 3-pointers, Fisher should be able to double the 105 points he scored last summer.

Corey Stokes is the ultimate deep threat in basketball, which would make him a perfect wide receiver in football. He could use his height to his advantage when catching jump-balls in the end zone like Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. The only problem is Stokes is too humble to be a prima donna wideout like TO and Moss. He will have to work on that.

Maalik Wayns would be the quarter back. He’s a natural leader, a playmaker, a scorer, and a distributor. With his lightening-fast speed he could be the next Michael Vick. You know, minus the whole dog fighting thing.

Antonio Pena has all the tools to play linebacker in the NFL. He’s definitely the strongest player on the team, and he just has that “look”, like Ray Lewis and Lawrence Taylor, that strikes fear into opposing players.

This should be easy, Mouphtaou Yarou grew up playing football… never mind that was “the other football”. But Mouph has proven to be a fast learner of new sports, and I could see him lining up at defensive end. He has the footwork to get around offensive guards and rush the quarterback plus the length to deflect passes.

Dominic Cheek would make a nice NFL safety. He is one of the most versatile players at Villanova, able to play multiple positions. As a safety he’d be free to roam on defense and make plays like Troy Polamalu. Although he’d have to start growing his hair out.

Maurice Sutton’s tall skinny frame doesn’t lend itself to football too well, but he could be useful on special teams. At almost 7-feet tall, Sutton can be a kick and punt blocking specialist. He just needs to jump over the line and swat away any field goal attempts with his long arms.

Isaiah Armwood has the speed, strength, and athleticism to make a very good corner back. He’s already defensive-minded, and he could use his height and leaping ability to intercept passes.

At 6’5, 225 lbs., James Bell is big and strong for a basketball guard, especially at Villanova, but that frame is ideal for a football tight end. Bell is right around the same size as Antonio Gates, who went from playing college basketball to being a Pro Bowl tight end.

Walk-ons Russell Wooten and Dallas Ouano perform the unsung duties of hyping up their teammates from the bench and pushing them at practice, so it’s only natural that they play the least heralded position in football, the offensive line. But they will need to start eating more. A lot more.

Even though he’s a great head coach, Jay Wright is the only member of the Villanova basketball program that definitely could not make the transition to football. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t imagine Jay wearing a sleeveless hooded sweatshirt on the sidelines like Bill Belichick. Moreover, the headsets would ruin his hair, and his designer suits wouldn’t mesh well with the frozen tundra of Lambeau.

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