Villanova quarterback comes up short in everything but yardage

September 20, 1990|By Doug Brown

ANNAPOLIS -- Villanova has its Presidential Backfield -- Kennedy (tailback Pat) and Johnson (fullback Jeff) -- and then it has Tom Colombo.

Colombo is the half-pint who plays quarterback. Villanova coach Andy Talley says Colombo "is 5-6, if that," and weighs all of 162. A sophomore whose father is a high school coach in Brockton, Mass., Colombo is a nephew of late heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano.

Legend has it that Colombo passed for 85 touchdowns in high school. It is fact that in two games for Villanova this season, he has passed for three -- and has completed 30 passes for 365 yards.

"His dad contacted us and asked if Tom could be a walk-on," Talley said. "He has put three of our scholarship quarterbacks on the bench. His uncle was a diminutive heavyweight. Colombo is a smaller Rocky."

"It sounds to me like the return of Eddie LeBaron," said a bemused Navy coach George Chaump, referring to the little quarterback who played in the NFL in the 1950s. "And I like that last name, Colombo."

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