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Football: Signing Day Profiles -- OL and DBs

Since there isn't always a lot of information out there on our football recruits, I decided to combine the last two groups into a single post. The 'Cats add three offensive linemen and two defensive backs to the program next year. Including one late addition, Kyle Wallace, who committed after signing day.

Vince Kowalski signs his NLI

Vince Kowalski, OL: One of countless many South Jersey football stars to commit to Villanova in recent year, Kowalski is a 6'4" and 248lb offensive lineman, who helped his high school to the South Jersey Group 4 semifinals.

Between his junior and senior years, he put on 30lbs, and he has the frame to add even more bulk down the line. At a summer football camp, the Villanova staff was able to see Kowalski in action, and were impressed with his quickness, speed and footwork for a lineman.

Rutgers, Pitt and a number of CAA schools were also involved in recruiting him, but after visiting and researching Villanova, Kowalski knew it was the right fit for him. As he told the Courier-Post on signing day, "Academics was my No. 1 priority.’’

Justin Rhinesmith

Justin Rhinesmith, OL: Rhinesmith is a 6'4', 270lb lineman from the Cape Atlantic League in New Jersey, the same conference that produced a myriad of recent Villanova standouts.

He wanted to attend Villanova since he was in 7th grade and hoped that football would help get him to the Main Line. Sadly, uncertainty struck with he tore his ACL during his senior season, and worried that his football career might be all-but-over. The injury took him out of the running for a spot at Army, and only Stony Brook was still calling during the rehabilitation process -- offering him a chance to "greyshirt," or play without a scholarship for one season.

When Villanova swooped in the week before signing day with an offer, however, any thoughts of Stony Brook went out the window. "The campus is beautiful and the academics are outstanding," Rhinesmith told reporter Susan Lulgjuraj of the AC Press.

He is still recovering from his ACL tear and is expected to redshirt during his freshman year. He may not be medically cleared to resume football activities until after summer practices begin.


Kyle Wallace signs on with the 'Cats

Kyle Wallace, OL: A post-graduate student at Wyoming Seminary and 2010 graduate of Wyoming Valley West, played both offense and defense in the past season, will compete for playing time at offensive guard for the 'Cats next season.

He was a four year starter at defensive tackle and offensive guard in high school and played in the Big 33 game between Pennsylvania and Ohio's best high school seniors.

He also considered Ball State, Central Connecticut and Sacred Heart, but chose Villanova last week -- both for the academic quality and for the chance to play for a successful football program.

Wallace was known to his coaches as a hard worker who gave 100% on every play.

Joe Sarnese (right) battles for the ball

Joe Sarnese, S: A first-team all-New Jersey pick at Safety, also had scholarship offers from Central Michigan and Western Michigan. He also played wide receiver in high school.

He recorded 89 tackles, five interceptions and three forced fumbles on defense as a junior. As a Senior, he again lead his team on tackles.

While dealing with the death of his father, Sarnese lead his team though that dark hour to the New Jersey Non-Public 3 state championship. Perhaps a bittersweet title for the younger Sarnese, but one that he knew his dad wanted him to have.

Sarnese has been hailed as "the best football player in South Jersey," and if he can live up to that billing, Villanova's opponents will have something to worry about.


Matt McCann

Matt McCann, DB: At Keystone-Oaks, McCann played runningback, wildcat QB, and linebacker. At 5'10" and 195lbs, he is undersized to play linebacker in college, which is why Villanova intends to use McCann as a safety in the 3-3-5 scheme that has been in favor of late.

Once Villanova made that intention known, in fact, his high school's defense began the process of preparing him for college by using him more in coverage. McCann was happy to make the switch.

He recorded over 300 tackles in his high school career. As a senior, he recorded 130 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery. He was named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Fabulous 22 team and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Terrific 23.

The only other college McCann really had considered was William and Mary, but after his official visit to Villanova, he was a lock to join the Wildcats.