When Villanova quarterback Marvin Burroughs graduated last spring, Wildcats fans probably thought they had seen the last of the veteran that carried the offense for three years.
But the familiar face has been in the crowd at the home games so far, watching his successor, sophomore quarterback Antwon Young, who has been like a younger brother to him. After redshirting last year, Young has assumed Burroughs' role in the offense with hopes of filling some very big cleats.
"There was a pressure on me because Marvin was very talented," Young said. "Coach had a lot of faith in me and a lot of people wanted me to play great, so I just wanted to be able to live up to everybody's expectations."
Burroughs can help with that, too. He broke his arm in two places and missed the entire 2005 season, when he should have been the starter.
But Young has not gotten hurt or disappointed his coaches. He saw his first game-time snap at Maryland in front of 51,000 Terrapins fans, and went on to pass for 257 yards against Lehigh to lead his team to a win in his second start.
After notching his second victory with a win over Maine in Villanova's home and conference opener last weekend, it looks like Penn's defense will have its hands full.
"I was hoping after Marvin graduated that we wouldn't see another six-foot-four, 220-pound quarterback who can run and throw," Quakers coach Al Bagnoli joked. "But they managed to find another kid like that."
Young has also inherited Burroughs' knack for presenting a dual threat, both through the air and on the ground. Young is second on the team in rushing yards, averaging 203.7 passing yards per game with a 66.7 completion percentage.
The likeness to his predecessor is no mistake - Burroughs worked thoroughly with Young to prepare him for the role of starting quarterback.
"When Marvin was [at Villanova], he acted like an older brother to Antwon and sort of brought him along in the program," Villanova coach Andy Talley said. "I think Marvin really helped him with the mechanical aspects of what we are doing at quarterback and also the mental part of the job."
Young still had to win the job, though, and logged substantial hours in the weight room and with a nutritonist this summer to get his weight up.
And if Bagnoli thought the Quakers might catch a break with Burroughs graduated and a new signal-caller under center, he doesn't anymore.
"I thought the thing that might inhibit him is a relative lack of experience, and yet he looks very poised on film," Bagnoli said. "He's making good decisions, throwing the ball to the right guy and really keeping the offense on track, so that doesn't bode well for us."
And, as usual, Burroughs will be in the stands to watch his protege in action, looking more like him all the time.Comments powered by Disqus
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