Wednesday February 4th is college football's National Signing Day. It's the first day that high school prospects can fax in their Letter of Intent and officially end their recruitment. In the FBS ranks, it's a day filled with drama and last-minute switches that can change the landscape of the class, and sometimes, a program.
For us in the FCS it's usually a bit calmer, but we'll always get 1-2 surprises in the form of preferred walk-ons that the coaching staff will announce and sometimes (like in the case of Taurus Phillips last year) a late commitment that brings us a nice signing day surprise.
Villanova is scheduled to lose 15 scholarship players and 2 walk-ons this spring to graduation. There's always the chance that some might not be invited back, transfers, etc. but we have to work on the assumption that there's a limited number of spots.
Here's the breakdown of who the Wildcats already have committed heading in to Wednesday.
2015 Villanova Football Recruiting Class
|Adeyemi Da Silva||QB||6'3"||200 lbs.||Palisades Park, NJ||Palisades Park Leonia|
|Jackson Bradley*||QB||6'2"||195 lbs.||Jacksonville, FL||Bishop Kenny High|
|Jarrett McClenton||RB||5'9"||170 lbs.||Warminster, PA||Archbishop Wood Catholic|
|D'Andre Pollard||RB||5'7"||170 lbs.||Langhorne, PA||Neshaminy High|
|Aaron Forbes||RB||5'10"||200 lbs.||Newburgh, NY||Newburgh Free Academy|
|Simon Bingelis||WR/TE||6'5"||220 lbs.||Brick, NJ||Brick High School|
|Keegan Sheedy||OL||6'5"||270 lbs.||Lancaster, PA||Lancaster Catholic|
|Louie Csaszar||OL||6'3"||280 lbs.||Bethlehem, PA||Liberty HS|
|Ethan Greenidge||OL||6'5"||320 lbs.||Riverhead, NY||Riverhead HS|
|Jafonta Johnson||DL||6'4"||235 lbs.||Syracuse, NY||Henninger High School|
|Drew Wiley||LB||6'2"||225 lbs.||Pennington, NJ||Central HS|
|Anthony Malaguti||LB||6'2"||225 lbs.||Ramsey, NJ||Don Bosco Prep|
|Julian Williams||DB||6'3"||190 lbs.||Suffern, N.Y.||Don Bosco Prep|
|Brandon Chadbourn||ATH||6'0"||185 lbs.||Altoona, PA||Bishop Guilfoyle|
Right now, 13 of those players hold a scholarship offer, with Jackson Bradley coming in as a preferred walk-on. That would seem to leave two scholarship unfilled. The class is very heavy on offense, but with 11 of the 17 departing players coming from that side of the ball the staff did a good job of maintaining balance on the roster.
The big name to watch on Wednesday was going to be running back Aaron Forbes, who just last week got an offer from Vanderbilt. However, Forbes announced yesterday that he would sign with Villanova. It's a massive victory for Villanova that they were able to keep Forbes away from the vaunted SEC - even if it was a cellar dweller in Vanderbilt.
For those of you who follow the football staff on Twitter, they tend to announce verbal commitments with a "It's a GREAT day to be a Wildcat!" and it sounds like we may have missed one or two along the way - Julian Williams in fact apparently committed back in July, but kept it under wraps until an article from NJ.com revealed the news over the weekend. So expect a couple of fresh names to emerge as Wednesday's LOIs are announced by the school.
As the school announces their LOIs (typically via Twitter), we'll be updating a StoryStream as a centralized location where you can discuss the newest Wildcats and ask any questions you have for the staff.