Each day up until Christmas Eve, we'll be breaking down who Villanova football is losing, bringing back, and bringing in at each position.
(walk-ons in italics)
Outgoing: Poppy Livers, Clay Horne
Returning: Kevin Gulyas, Mike Burke, Aaron Wells, Anthony DeCamillo, Lincoln Collins, Taurus Phillips, Alex Padovani, Jacob Gribb, Matt Brown, Justin Causa, Robert Witman
Incoming: Brandon Chadbourn
John Robertson will lose his safety net in Poppy Livers. Livers led the team in receptions and yardage, and tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns. Clay Horne never really hit his stride at Villanova, but his size and blocking ability was a big asset.
Kevin Gulyas emerged as the top playmaker despite being thought of as a possession receiver and will enter 2015 as the #1 option for Robertson. His classmate Mike Burke has shown flashes and is a plus-blocker, while DeCamillo could emerge as a solid slot option now that Livers is gone. Aaron Wells is one of the fastest players on the roster, but hasn't been used as much of a downfield threat and takes mostly swing passes and handoffs.
The upside on Lincoln Collins is big - the redshirt freshman's size and speed could make him the type of big-play threat that Robertson desperately needs. Taurus Phillips saw limited action this year, but was an FBS-level recruit and boasts a ton of speed. He looks like he could be a great fit in the slot receiver role heading in to next season.
Alex Padovani redshirted this year, but should be able to work in to the rotation behind Gulyas, Burke and Collins next season. Matt Brown and Justin Causa were both "preferred" walk-ons which means the talent is there, just not the scholarship. Keep an eye on both in next summer's camp to see if they make a push for playing time.
The jury is still out about where Chadbourn will play at Villanova. He was a star quarterback in high school, but probably projects best as a WR or DB in college. Check out his highlights - he can really run.
(walk-ons in italics)
Outgoing: Earnest Pettway, Doug Turrell
Returning: Ryan Morris, Ryan Bell
Tight end appears to be one of the few positions on the roster requiring an infusion of depth. Earnest Pettway was a nightmare for defenses to cover and broke out as a red-zone threat before an injury derailed his senior season. Doug Turrell was mostly used for blocking but got involved in the passing attack when Pettway went down.
Add Morgan Craig's position change to defense (and the fact that he's out of eligibility) and Andy Talley is losing his top three players at the position.
The job appears to be Purdue-transfer Ryan Morris' to lose heading in to 2015. Morris didn't play much this year, but is a big and athletic player who should be equally adept in Villanova's blocking scheme and as a pass-catcher. Ryan Bell was a preferred walk-on in 2014.
Though the staff doesn't yet have a commitment at the position in 2015, you have to imagine they'd like to bring in a player to provide cover in case the injury bug hits Villanova for the second straight season.