Villanova football coach Andy Talley recruited for specific positions

Posted: February 07, 2013

With so few openings, Villanova went for specific positions with its eight-member football recruiting class.

The Wildcats are coming off an 8-4 season in which they won the regular-season Colonial Athletic Association title via tiebreaker and earned a Football Championship Subdivision playoff spot.

With much of the team returning, Villanova is considered a contender to win a national championship, something the school accomplished in 2009. So the Wildcats could afford to be choosy.

They signed one offensive lineman, four defensive backs, two defensive linemen, and a wide receiver.

"Positional specifics, we felt, were important," Villanova coach Andy Talley said. "Given the fact we only had eight recruits, I think we were very careful to take care of positional integrity."

The one offensive lineman was the lone local high school recruit - 6-foot-4, 280-pound Matt Donoghue out of Garnet Valley - who will be able to play guard or tackle.

"We wanted somebody who was big and physical, and Matt fit our needs," Talley said.

Villanova was also looking for bigger defensive linemen and got two in Michael Williams (6-5, 280) of Maryland's Archbishop Spalding and Thomas Plonski (6-5, 230) of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Technical.

The one receiver is Lincoln Collins (6-2, 180) from Boston College High. He fits the bill of the taller Villanova receivers who can block. This is a Villanova team that led the CAA in rushing, averaging 252.8 yards, so blocking in the running game is essential.

Of the four defensive backs, Trey Johnson (5-11, 160) of Florida and Lorenzo Fertitta (5-10, 175) from Las Vegas are projected as corners. Wesley Smith (5-11, 175) of Florida was recruited as a safety, while Jason Ceneus (5-9, 170) of New Rochelle, N.Y., could play either corner or safety.

"I think this class is the same quality of kid we have been getting over the years," Talley said.

With such an experienced team returning, Talley said it's possible that the entire incoming freshman class could redshirt.

What is certain is that Talley and his staff feel that these recruits will eventually be major contributors.

Contact Marc Narducci at, or follow on Twitter @sjnard.

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