Wednesday February 3rd 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 sign with their future school. In the FBS ranks, it's a day filled with last-minute switches that can change the landscape of the class, and sometimes, a program.
The FCS doesn't offer us the same drama as the FBS, but Villanova hasn't been immune to the unforeseen in years past, and has already lost offensive lineman Noel Brouse to UConn in the past month and lost defensive lineman Doug Costin to Miami (OH) on Friday.
Because they play things close to the vest, we likely won't know who may be coming back for a 5th year on campus until spring practice opens, but the 'Cats are definitely losing 11 players who have exhausted their eligibility, and likely more than that considering the large class they're bringing in.
Here's the breakdown of who the Wildcats already have committed heading in to Wednesday.
|Jack Schetelich||QB||6'2"||185 lbs.||Cranford, N.J.||Cranford|
|Justin Covington||RB||5'11"||205 lbs.||The Bronx, N.Y.||Cardinal Hayes|
|Zac Kerxton||WR||6'0"||180 lbs.||Haymarket, Va.||Battlefield|
|Changa Hodge||WR||6'1"||185 lbs.||East Stroudsburg, Pa.||East Stroudsburg South|
|Josh McGrigg||WR||5'8"||160 lbs.||Alexandrix, Va.||Mount Vernon|
|Peter Fallon||OL||6'4"||280 lbs.||Millis, Mass.||Millis|
|Paul Grattan||OL||6'3"||290 lbs.||Pittsburgh, Pa.||Mt. Lebanon|
|Patrick Lawler||OL||6'6"||260 lbs.||Braintree, Mass.||Thayer Academy|
|MJ Dumas||OL||6'5"||320 lbs.||Indianapolis, Ind.||Lawrence North|
|Nanakofi Appiah||OL/DL||6'7"||255 lbs.||Springdale, Md.||Flowers|
|Jeff Wiley||DL||6'4"||230 lbs.||Pennington, N.J.||Hopewell Valley Central|
|Aaron Seigle||DL||6'2"||270 lbs.||Harrisburg, Pa.||Susquehanna Township|
|Keeling Hunter||LB||6'0"||225 lbs.||Nashville, Tenn.||Franklin Road Academy|
|Korey Stevens||DB||5'11"||175 lbs.||Baltimore, Md.||Gilman|
|Nowoola Awopetu||DB||5'11"||185 lbs.||Staten Island, N.Y.||Port Richmond|
|Terrell Vassel||DB||6'1"||175 lbs.||Wayne, N.J.||DePaul Catholic|
|Drew Kresge||K/P||5'11"||200 lbs.||Birdsboro, Pa.||Boone|
*Italics denotes a walk-on
The biggest thing that stands out is the balance. Villanova went heavy on the lines - always a good idea in the scholarship-challenged FCS - but they brought in at least one player at every position except for tight end (which could still end up being where Jeff Wiley plays).
It's another excellent class, and a great way for Andy Talley to go out while transitioning the program full-time to Mark Ferrante. That the Wildcats could announce a coaching change so close to signing day and actually gain momentum is a testament to the program's stability and the coaches.
Usually signing day brings 1-2 surprises as well, whether in the form of preferred walk-ons or last minute offers and commitments. Stay tuned!