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Villanova Football Recruiting: What to watch for during the new early signing period

Will the ‘Cats staff get all of their verbal commitments to sign?

NCAA Football: Villanova at Temple Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

At long last, college football has followed college basketball’s model and created an early signing period. Tomorrow (Wednesday) marks the first day high school seniors can sign Letters of Intent, and they’ll have Thursday and Friday to do this as well. This 3-day period precedes that more typical National Signing Day that occurs on the first Wednesday in February.

Here’s a handy video explaining what’s happening:

It's time for Early Signing Day!

There's a new National Signing Day for NCAA football. Check out this explainer video for all the info you need before the fax machines fire up on Wednesday.

Posted by on Monday, December 18, 2017

This is a welcome addition for college football coaches, who typically spend early February (and even the day of!) sweating out whether their verbal commitments will actually sign, or whether they are headed elsewhere (often to a rival!).

This isn’t as common at the FCS level, but we have seen instances in the past - Aaron Forbes being the most notable example - where FBS schools try to poach FCS commits at the eleventh hour.

Many will argue that this new signing period doesn’t really help the players, and they have a point. Many players want to stick it out and see if there will be coaching changes or other scholarship offers, so locking in this early may not be in their best interest. Nefarious coaching plots of rescinding scholarships are few and far between as well.

Still, there will be a handful of players who will take the opportunity to make it official this week, much like their college basketball counterparts.

Here’s the list of Villanova’s known verbal commitments heading into Wednesday’s Early Signing Period.

Villanova Football 2018 Recruiting Class

247 Composite Rating Position Name Height/Weight Hometown (High School)
247 Composite Rating Position Name Height/Weight Hometown (High School)
3-star DE Mikey Taylor 6'3" 235 lbs. Flushing, N.Y. (Holy Cross)
2-star TE Owen Thomas 6'4" 215 lbs. Lansdale, Pa. (North Penn)
NR DE Garrett Zobel 6'2" 270 lbs. Glenside, Pa. (La Salle)
NR OL James Petrovcik 6'4" 28 lbs. West Orange, N.J. (Seton Hall Prep)
NR WR Dev Holmes 5'10" 160 lbs. Troy, N.Y. (Troy)
NR RB Jalen Jackson 5'10" 215 lbs. Richmond, Va. (Thomas Jefferson)
NR DB Christian Benford 6'0" 180 lbs. Randallstown, Md. (Randallstown)
NR K/P Nathan Fondacaro 5'10" 180 lbs. Richland, N.J. (St. Augustine Prep)
NR QB Qadir Ismail 6'7" 205 lbs. Baltimore, Md. (John Carroll)
NR DB Elijah Trent 6'3" 180 lbs. Rockville, Md. (Thomas S. Wooten)
NR OL Matt Mazza 6'4" 270 lbs. Englishtown, N.J. (Manalapan)
NR DB Darius Pickett 6'0" 195 lbs. Owings Mills, Md. (McDonogh)
NR LB Qwahsin Townsel 6'0" 205 lbs. Hammonton, N.J. (St. Joseph)

It’s worth keeping an eye on how many LOIs the Villanova Wildcats staff receives tomorrow. Mikey Taylor has already confirmed that he will sign on Wednesday.

Getting those players secured will allow Mark Ferrante and his staff to prioritize their efforts on the prospects and positions that they need to fill heading into next season.