Signing day for NCAA football comes on February 6th, 2013 and will end the recruitment period for most Division I recruits. Leading up to that day, coaches spend as much time on the road in their recruiting areas as the NCAA will permit, seeing student athletes and selling their programs. As we speak, Villanova's coaches are on the road, working to close out what they hope will be another solid recruiting class.
Already this week, we have seen three new commitments reported, Matt Rushton, Jason Ceneus and Travis Clark, all of whom plan to sign in the coming weeks and join the program this summer.
Rushton is a 5-11, 185-pound defensive back out of Philadelphia's Episcopal Academy. Unrated by the major recruiting services, Rushton was listed as the 11th-best cornerback in Southeastern Pennsylvania by the Philadelphia Inquirer, he is an excellent tackler and has the versatility to play up on the line, or split out wide in coverage. He was a 2012 All-Main Line football honorable mention as well. He will join the program as a preferred walk-on.
He is the son of 1989 Villanova graduate and former football player, Scott Rushton, who played safety for the Wildcats after Coach Andy Talley re-launched the program. In addition to being a standout on the gridiron, the elder Rushton was also a former CoSIDA Academic All-American.
The 5-9, 170-pound Ceneus, is a running back and defensive back from New Rochelle High School in New York. He told MSG Varsity that he plans to commit to Villanova this weekend, when he takes an official visit to the school. He will be among a group of football recruits visiting over the weekend, as the coaching staff assembles some targets for a last-chance wooing prior to signing day, that will include a trip to the Wells Fargo Center for the Villanova/Syracuse basketball game.
New Rochelle, is the alma mater of Rutgers standout and now-Baltimore Ravens star, Ray Rice. Like Rice, Ceneus has a propensity for making big plays, and his coach envisions him playing either running back, slot receiver or defensive back in college. He has also excelled at lacrosse, a sport that he started playing as a sophomore in high school.
The 'Cats also added a preferred walk-on at linebacker in Travis Clark, according to Scott Stump. According to AllShoreMedia.com, Clark is, "a mobile and instinctive backer with a knack for seeing and getting to the end zone." He was named to the All Shore Media All-Jersey Shore first team defense for the 2012 season. At 6-0 and 217-pounds, Clark has decent size for his position, and also played power forward for the Rumson-Fair Haven basketball team.
All three players will add depth to an already-solid Villanova team and perhaps develop into bigger roles as they progress through the program.
Other 2013 Commitments: DE Mike Williams, OL Matt Donoghue, DB Wes Smith, DB Trey Johnson, DE Thomas Plonski, DB Lorenzo Fertitta, and WR Lincoln Collins.
Sources have also indicated that the following players are also visiting the program this weekend, and may be likely to commit: Connor Cuccinelli, a wide receiver who will convert to tight end from St. Mary's (Rutherford, NJ); Brennan Butz, a defensive end from Hereford, MD; Vince Thompson, a running back and defensive back from Central Bucks East (the son of the former Villanova rushing leader and NFL player of the same name); and John Hinchen, a punter/kicker from Northern Highlands, NJ. Tom Spiteri, an offensive guard and defensive tackle was also slated to visit Villanova, but reportedly gave Colgate his verbal commitment this week.
For more coverage of the Villanova Football 2013 Recruiting Class, check out our section!