Wednesday marked National Signing Day, and head coach Andy Talley was looking forward to receiving the faxed letters of intent from his recruits. Here are the Wildcats who will be a part of Talley’s final recruiting class and will be arriving to play at the Main Line this fall:
Jack Schetelich, QB (Cranford HS, N.J.):
Villanova fans might need to wait another season to see the dual-threat quarterback in action, as he is expected to redshirt this fall. He enjoyed a 20-20 in his senior season at Cranford. He completed 102-of-162 (63.0%) of his passes for 1,998 yards and 24 touchdowns, with only three interceptions. On the ground, he added another 1,122 yards and 21 touchdowns off of 166 carries. He boasts a 23-1 record as a starter, with a perfect 12-0 campaign his senior year en route to a NJSIAA North 2 Group III State Championship. For his play this past season he was named Second Team All-State, Mid-State 38 Offensive Player of the Year, and Union County Player of the Year.
Jack Schetelich’s Highlights
Justin Covington, RB (Cardinal Hayes HS, N.Y.):
Covington’s senior season fell just short of being perfect, as Cardinal Hayes fell to Stepinac in the CHSFL AAA State Championship game. However, he was a big reason for why his school ended up there in the first place. If there’s one word out there to describe Covington, it’s explosive. Covington was all-everything for Cardinal Hayes as its feature running back. He racked up First Team All-City, All-League, and All-State honors. He was also a Empire Challenge NYC All-Star. Covington averaged 9.8 yards per carry, rushing the ball 165 times for 1,612 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also added five receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown.
Justin Covington’s Highlights
Changa Hodge, WR (East Stroudsburg South HS, Pa.):
Hodge was one of the bright spots for a rough 1-9 season for East Stroudsburg South. The three-sport athlete has decided to commit to Villanova to play football. However, his experiences and skills from his days running track and playing basketball at East Stroudsburg South will also come in handy. Hodge is a 6-1 speedster at the receiver position and will look to leave his opposition in the dust. This past season as a senior, he had 31 receptions for 868 yards and 12 touchdowns. He might also be used as an asset on special teams as a kick or punt returner. He had an impact there for the Cavaliers, returning two kicks to the house. Hodge was given Second Team All-Area, First Team All-League, and First Team All-Conference this past season.
Changa Hodge’s Highlights
Zac Kerxton, WR (Battlefield HS, Va.):
Villanova added another quick receiver in Kerxton, who ran track and played football at Battlefield High School (Va.). Kerxton verbally committed to Villanova last summer, choosing the ‘Cats over CAA rivals Towson and James Madison. He enjoyed another solid season to follow up his record-breaking junior year, where his 25 receiving touchdowns are a state-best. It was an amazing season for him in which he averaged just under 24 yards per reception. In his senior season, he was given First Team All-Conference honors for his play as a wide receiver, kick returner, punt returner, and punter. Likewise, he was rewarded at an even higher level for his versatility, earning Second Team All-State honors for his play as a wide receiver and kick returner.
Zac Kerxton’s Highlights
Josh McGrigg, WR (Mount Vernon HS, Va.):
McGrigg rounds off a speedy wide receiver recruiting corps. At 5-10, he isn’t necessarily the tallest, but may find his niche as a slot receiver in Villanova’s spread offense. He is another explosive, swift athlete that excelled as a receiver and kick returner in high school. He also ran track, and was a district champion in three events this past season. As a football player, he had 43 receptions for 574 yards and six touchdowns. He also carried the ball a few times, taking 13 carries for 133 yards. McGrigg earned First Team All-State as a kick returner. He was given First Team All-District honors as both a wide receiver and kick returner.
Josh McGrigg’s Highlights
Todd Summers, TE (Franklin Regional HS, Pa.):
Summers is a nice pickup for Villanova, adding depth to the position after Doug Turrell graduates in May. He picked Villanova over FBS-school Kansas State. At Franklin Regional, he was a standout on the football field and the basketball court. Summers was named First Team All-Conference twice. He served as captain of the football and basketball teams at Franklin Regional. Summers has started on the school’s basketball team in each of his four years, and you know what they say about basketball players making good tight ends…
Todd Summers’ Highlights
Peter Fallon, OL (Millis HS, Mass.):
At certain points in the season, due to injury or other various reasons, Villanova’s offensive line seemed to have its issues. The Wildcats love to run the ball and when they can get it going, it’s problematic for opposing teams. Fallon comes in to help add some depth at the O-Line. Blocking is something he can do well, he was named to the Super 26 All-State Team his senior year. he also was named the Tri-Valley Lineman of the Year twice. He captained a Millis squad whose line helped pave the way for 2,908 rushing yards this past season. After such a statistic, it’s easy to see why Villanova’s coaching staff went after him.
Peter Fallon’s Highlights
Paul Grattan, OL (Mt. Lebanon HS, Pa.):
Grattan is another lineman with a good amount of experience, spending three years on varsity and starting in 24 games. He played both ways, as the blind side tackle on offense and a defensive end on the other side of the ball. However, Villanova will be using him as an offensive lineman. He has good instincts and awareness as a blocker and certainly has the strength to compliment it. This past season he was named to the PIAA AAAA All-State team. PA Preps named him to their Golden 33 team, while the Pittsburgh Tribune Review had him on its Terrific 25 team. He also got All-Conference honors.
Paul Grattan’s Highlights
M.J. Dumas, OL (Lawrence North HS, Ind.):
At 319 pounds, Dumas still has the size to rumble with the bigger linemen around. He’s also able to keep up with the swift ones. Despite his large size, he is rather quick off the ball. After all, he did play guard in high school. He also started on the other side of the ball too at Lawrence North. Dumas was given All-State, All-MIC, and All-County honors. He selected Villanova over FBS-school Georgia State, as well as, South Dakota, Grand Valley State, and University of Indianapolis.
M.J. Dumas’ Highlights
Patrick Lawler, OL (Thayer Academy, Mass):
Lawler is a top ten prospect from the state of Massachusetts. He was a two-way star at Thayer, where he started on both the offensive and defensive lines. Lawler has garnered numerous accolades during his time there, being named to the Super 26 All-State Team and First Team All-Massachusetts by USA Today. He was also named to the All-ISL, All-New England, and All-State teams twice in his career. At 6-7, 270 pounds, he is one of the bigger linemen in this recruiting class.
Patrick Lawler’s Highlights
Nanakofi Appiah, OL (Charles H. Flowers HS, Md.):
Appiah is the other 6-7 offensive lineman that will be coming to the Main Line in the fall. Right now he is slated to play on the offensive line, but there is a chance that he may move over to defensive end. Like others in this recruiting class, he did play both sides of the ball in high school. Appiah was named team captain for this past season. He picked up All-Prince George’s County and All-Conference honors. When he wasn’t on the football field, he also participated in Flowers’ track and field team. Appiah was more involved in the field events as a discus thrower, where he was champion at the county and regional levels.
Nanakofi Appiah’s Highlights
Aaron Seigle, DL (Susquehanna Township HS, Pa.):
Seigle was a two-way starter for three years. On defense, he played both defensive end and tackle positions at Susquehanna Township. However, for Villanova’s 3-3 stack defense, he’s panning out to be a defensive tackle in the Wildcats’ scheme. He has a solid combination of strength and speed to beat linemen off the ball. Seigle picked Villanova over FBS-schools Syracuse, Buffalo, and Old Dominion. He also had an offer from Bucknell. Seigle was named First Team All-State by PA Football Writers and Second Team All-State by PA Football News. He was also named First Team All-Eastern PA and All-Conference.
Aaron Seigle’s Highlights
Jeff Wiley, DL (Hopewell Valley Central HS, N.J.):
Wiley will be joining his older brother Drew at Villanova this fall. Drew Wiley finished his freshman season as a Wildcat a couple of months ago and now Jeff will be preparing to start his in August. Drew is a linebacker, while Jeff will be on the defensive line, most likely as a defensive end. There’s a chance that they’ll both be starting on defense somewhere down the road. For now, Villanova is bringing in a defensive end that was named First Team All-State by the Star Ledger, has earned NJFCA Super 100 State Team honors, and All-Division and All-Conference, twice. During his three years on varsity, Hopewell Valley Central saw its best three-year span in program history, going 25-6 during that time.
Jeff Wiley’s Highlights
Keeling Hunter, LB (Franklin Road Academy, Tenn./Peddie School, N.J.):
Hunter is the lone linebacker in this year’s recruiting class. He is an excellent athlete, and it shows in his highlight tape. He does almost everything, with snaps at running back, wide receiver, and even the quarterback positions. On defense, he is primarily a linebacker and that is what he was recruited for. Hunter has great football instincts and once he is locked on to his target, he will pursue and take him down. Hunter spent three years at Franklin Road, where he started each year on the football team. He is a two-time First Team All-State linebacker and was named District Defensive Player of the Year twice. He was a captain his junior year and was even All-State in baseball. He transferred to Peddie for his senior season where he was also named captain of the football team and was First Team All-Mid Atlantic Prep League.
Keeling Hunter’s Highlights
Terrell Vassel, DB (DePaul Catholic HS, N.J.):
It’s safe to say that Vassel has a lot of experience. He got to play all four years in high school and was a starter all of those years. He started 46 consecutive games, something that not very many athletes get to do at the high school level. From his sophomore year onward, DePaul Catholic won the state title each season for a three-peat. Vassel played both cornerback and safety in high school, giving Villanova some options with how to utilize hiim in the Wildcats’ defense. Vassel was naemd Second Team All-State, Second Team All-USA New Jersey, First Team All-Big North, and First Team All-County. He has great athleticism and at 6-1, great size as a cornerback.
Terrell Vassel’s Highlights
Korey Stevens, DB (Gilman School, Md.):
Stevens is another defensive back with good size, standing in at 5-11 and 175 pounds. He comes from a national powerhouse, helping Gilman finish the season ranked No. 17 on USA Today’s national poll. At Gilman, he played both wide receiver and defensive back. This past season, he finished with 550 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, he had 31 tackles and three interceptions. He was named First Team All-State, First Team All-Conference, and First Team All-Metro.
Korey Stevens’ Highlights
Nowoola Awopetu, DB (Port Richmond HS, N.Y.):
Awopetu enjoyed a solid career over at Port Richmond on the gridiron and on the track. He was Staten Island’s 200 and 300 meter champion. On the football field, this past season, he racked up 11 receiving touchdowns. On the other end of the ball, he was a lockdown corner. Awopetu finished with five interceptions, with one of them returned all the way for a touchdown. He brings more depth to the defensive back position that has more upperclassmen. Awopetu garnered All-City and All-Conference accolades this past season.
Nowoola Awopetu’s Highlights
Last but not least…
Drew Kresege, K/P (Daniel Boone HS, Pa.):
Kresege will be brought on as a preferred walk-on. Nothing is guaranteed. It looks like a way for Villanova to test its kickers out first before giving a scholarship. The Wildcats have not been able to find consistency in the kicking game since Mark Hamilton graduated in 2014. Once Kresege arrives, there will most likely be an open competition between him and kickers Gerard Smith and Steve Weyler. The punter position seems just fine with John Hinchen.