With Mark Ferrante publicly hired as the coach-in-waiting following Andy Talley's impending retirement, one area of interest will be how the Wildcats recruiting efforts are affected. Frankly, it should be minimal. Ferrante has been a long time staffer and not much within the program should change all that much. Talley has recruited well with a great staff, and that should continue with Ferrante.
So it was somewhat surprising to see that Villanova hasn't landed a public verbal yet. FBS recruiting has been in full swing for quite some time, so it would only seem natural that a high-end FCS school might lock down a commitment or two. Not to worry though, because in the last five cycles the Wildcats haven't landed their first verbal until early-mid June.
Better yet, the first of three planned prospect camps begins today on the Main Line (the other two are on June 23rd and July 31st). Those will draw plenty of talent to campus, and should lead to a few commitments to kickstart things for Mark Ferrante's first class.
With summer recruiting about to hit the next gear, let's take a look at the offers that have been extended thus far:
QB Kyle McCloskey - 6'4" 205 - Germantown Academy (Pa.)
RB AJ Dillon - 6'1" 230 - Lawrence Academy (Mass.) -- committed to Michigan 3/28/16
RB Chris Chukwuneke - 6'0" 185 - St. John Vianney (N.J.)
WR Bo Melton - 6'0" 185 - Cedar Creek (N.J.) -- committed to Rutgers 4/15/16
OL Austin Pyne - 6'4" 305 - Cushing Academy (Mass.)
OL/DL Desmond Holmes - 6'5" 300 - Cardinal O'Hara (Pa.)
DL/TE Daniel Buchanan - 6'6" 250 - Mingo Central (W.V.)
DL Cam Goode - 6'0" 305 - St. John's (D.C.)
LB Keisean Wilson - 6'2" 230 - North Point (Md.)
LB Zane Zandier - 6'3" 205 - Thomas Jefferson (Pa.)
LB Dillon Harris - 6'0" 210 - Bloomfield (Conn.)
LB Mike Ruane- 5'11" 220 - Rumson-Fair Haven (N.J.)
LB James McCarthy - 6'1" 210 - Middletown South (N.J.)
DB Dajone Averett - 6'3" 195 - West Catholic (Pa.)
DB Ricky Johns - 6'2" 175 - North Penn (Pa.)
DB MJ Hampton - 6'0" 190 - Brooke Point (Va.)
DB Coby Davis - 6'1" 180 - Maret (Md.)
DB Darryl McDaniel - 6'0" 185 - St. John's (D.C.)
Defense looks like the main priority early on, and that makes sense given what players are running out of eligibility. Ferrante will lose a ton at linebacker - Corey Majors and Austin Calitro have been major players for the past few seasons. And Shayne Jones and Jason Ceneus are gone from the defensive backfield. Tanoh Kpassagnon and Bryan Osei will leave the defensive line as well making it six regulars out the door and a couple of reserves as well.
It's not as bad on the offensive side, but he will lose two starters on the offensive line in Nico D'Angelo and Brad Seaton. Luckily, that's been an area that has been recruited very well for a long time.