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Villanova Football Depth Chart: Eric Drains, Wes Smith win starting jobs

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Villanova has released their two-deep for UConn.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Villanova Football released their two-deep depth chart to the masses on Monday afternoon with Thursday night's kickoff looming. Their were several starting jobs up for grabs in summer camp, and there are plenty of fresh faces who should make more important contributions this season.

With Mike Burke likely out for the season with a knee injury, two WR spots were up for grabs. (RS) freshmen Alex Padovani will line up with senior Kevin Gulyas on the outside, while speedster Aaron Wells will be manning the slot. We haven't yet seen Padovani in game action, but he has very good size (6'2", 205 lbs.) and speed - he could be a new playmaker to help offset the loss of Poppy Livers. Wells saw plenty of action last year so it's no surprise to see him win the job. He's blazing fast and will get the ball on jet sweeps as well as catching passes.

At running back, Javon White is back from a redshirt to back up Gary Underwood, who should be the primary workhose this season. Matt Gudzak will likely see some time as well as Talley tries to figure out the right combination.

At tight end, Doug Turrell won the job over Ryan Morris , though I'd expect the latter to be used in passing downs quite often. There were no surprises on the offensive line. Brandon Hitner will be the next man up at tackle, Chris Buchalski at guard, and Matt Donoghue will back up Kyle Wallace.

With Pat Williams and Jordan Hunter gone, nose tackle was a big hole entering the season. Eric Drains has apparently won the starting job, though especially this week against an FBS opponent, you'll probably see plenty of Ricky Young as well.

The linebackers are totally stacked - Jeff Steeb has moved in to the two-deep to replace Joey Harmon, and Corey Majors is back from injury to reclaim his starting place. Austin Calitro will flank Don Cherry on the other side. As with last season, expect to see plenty of Dillon Lucas and Ed Shockley as well. This is definitely the best and deepest unit on the roster.

In the secondary, Wes Smith looks to have won the starting free safety job, replacing Joe Sarnese. Everyone else is back, and the unit will also get a big boost from the return of Trey Johnson, who sat out last season with an injury after starting during his freshmen season. Johnson displaced Jason Ceneus as a starter - Ceneus was a 3rd Team All-CAA member last season, so expect to see him playing a lot.