PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Villanova Wildcats are winding down their first set of spring workouts with Mark Ferrante as head coach.
Of course, Ferrante is not new to the Main Line. In fact he is a longtime member of the Villanova football family. He spent the last three decades as an assistant and then associate head coach of the Wildcats. He took over as head coach after longtime head man Andy Talley retired following the 2016 season.
Ferrante has been pleased with what he has seen so far this spring out of his players.
“The effort on the field and the attitude on the field and the enthusiasm that they’re bringing to the field every day and bringing into the weight room, I think the spring has been going really well,” Ferrante tells KYW Newsradio.
Listen to the entire interview with Villanova head coach Mark Ferrante:
Ferrante talks about taking over the reigns of the program.
“It really was a fairly smooth transition in the off-season when the guys came back for January and they’re in the weight room and we’re doing morning conditioning,” he says. “That wasn’t a big change. We were kind of going along status quo there. But once we got on the field was the biggest difference. Not having a pre-practice meeting with a positional group (Ferrante had previously been coaching the offensive line). Not having a positional group on the field that I’m coaching during individual (workouts) and obviously evaluating after practice when we’re in film sessions. So I’m getting around the field a lot more, evaluating and observing a lot more on both sides of the field.”
Villanova went 9-4 in 2016, advancing to the second round of the FCS playoffs. They will have a lot of talent from that group back in 2017, but Ferrante says defensive line is a position where they have some question marks right now.
“Tanoh Kpassagnon and Bryan Osei were both seniors and really solid defensive ends for us,” he says. “We have some good young players in the position. We have some good experienced players at the nose guard position. So the defensive line is probably the position I think that people are going to look at and say that’s probably the most inexperienced.”
Villanova will open its 2017 season and Ferrante will make his debut as head coach on September 2nd on the road against Lehigh.