Wednesday marked the start of the early signing period for the Class of 2023, and Villanova received letters of intent from 11 football recruits.

The Wildcats signed five players on offense and six on defense.

The players come from seven states, including four from Pennsylvania, two from New Jersey and one each from Connecticut, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia.

“We feel this first wave in the early signing period with these 11 student-athletes is a very good start for the first phase of recruiting,” said Villanova coach Mark Ferrante. “There are still a couple of guys that we are interested in that have interest in us.

“This is a three-day signing period, so we may still get one or two more, but we’re real excited about this first 11. Our coaches did a good job of not only evaluating the athlete, but we have a good collection of kids from the standpoint of what they will do in the classroom.”

On the offensive side of the ball, the additions to the Wildcats program are Jaquan Allen (WR, East Hartford, Conn.); DeeWil Barlee (RB, Upper Darby); William Hambrook (OL, Charlotte, N.C.); Jaden Rolling (OL, Brooklyn, N.Y.); and Connor Watkins (QB, Williamsport, Pa.). Barlee starred at Episcopal Academy.

The defensive players include Elijah Glover (DB, Pleasantville, N.J.); Jalen Goodman (DB, Damascus, Pa.); Jalen Howard (DL, Woodbridge, Va.); CJ Pressley (DL, Philadelphia); Elijah Solomon (LB, Reisterstown, Md.); and Isas Waxter (DB, Orange, N.J.). Pressley played for the Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J.

Villanova loses its starting quarterback, leading rusher, leading receiver and some key starters on defense.

With the NCAA now allowing freshmen to play in four games and still retain their eligibility to be redshirted, the Villanova coaching staff will have even more chances to give young players an opportunity to perform.

“That is yet to be determined,” Ferrante said. “We’ll get through spring ball with our returning players. We have played quite a few freshmen over the last few seasons, so I’m sure some of these 11 will have an opportunity because we don’t have a ton of depth in certain spots.”