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Villanova football’s recruiting class, heavy on Philly-area talent, builds on FCS playoff berth

Coatesville quarterback Ricky Ortega and his explosive wide receiving partner Dapree Bryant head up the local players in this year's class.

Coatesville High's Ricky Ortega headlines Villanova's 2020 recruiting class..
Coatesville High's Ricky Ortega headlines Villanova's 2020 recruiting class..Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

Villanova, fresh off its first Football Championship Series playoff berth in three years, has put together the recruiting class to back it up. According to 247 Sports, Villanova has six commitments and the No. 1 class in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Coatesville duo Dapree Bryant and Ricky Ortega are among the class’ headliners. Ortega is a 5-foot-11, 190-pound dual-threat quarterback. Bryant is a 5-8, 170-pound electrifying wide receiver. Both players were named to the Inquirer’s All-Southeastern Pennsylvania team.

The stats are mesmerizing. Ortega became the first Pennsylvania quarterback to pass for more than 2,000 yards in each of four seasons. Bryant’s versatility led to touchdowns via punt, kick and interception returns as well as rushing and receiving.

“They’ve been so close,” Coatesville coach Matt Ortega said earlier this year. “They want to build on what they’ve experienced, especially the last two years.”

K-Shawn Schulters, of St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, N.J., is the highest-rated recruit, the 46th-ranked safety in the nation and the 16th-rated player in New Jersey. His father is former NFL safety Lance Schulters, a 1999 Pro Bowler with San Francisco.

Cornerback Tyrell Mims, of Martin Luther King High, is the last local player currently committed. Mims, who was the Public League MVP, also held offers from Yale, Robert Morris, Rhode Island, Morgan State, Monmouth, and New Hampshire.

Tight end Mitchell Bothwell and outside linebacker Timothy Ferguson round out the current commitments. Bothwell hails from Texas and is the 48th-ranked tight end in the nation. Ferguson’s a 6-2, 215-pound outside linebacker from Maryland.

“They liked my versatile play and how I play with my hands," Ferguson said following his commitment in July. "The way I have played at Damascus on defense coincides with the schemes they run at Villanova. The linebackers are aggressive and play a huge part in their overall scheme.”

Ayden Howard is one of the Wildcats’ highest-rated targets remaining. The 6-3, 272-pound defensive tackle officially visited Villanova this past weekend. The Texan is the 127th-ranked defensive tackle in the nation.