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Villanova beefs up O-line, adds 11 signees to football recruiting class | National signing day

Villanova isn't expecting to add any more recruits during the February signing day unless it has more transfers.

Mark Ferrante led Villanova to a top-25 season and a playoff berth in 2019.
Mark Ferrante led Villanova to a top-25 season and a playoff berth in 2019.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

Villanova football’s signing class placed an emphasis on wide receivers and the offensive line. The Wildcats added signatures from three of each on Wednesday.

Villanova added 11 players on the early signing day. The list includes seven offensive and four defensive players from as far away as Florida and Texas.

“We definitely added some size, but we like the athleticism of the group up front as well,” Villanova coach Mark Ferrante said. “We really like the athleticism that a lot of the incoming guys have.”

Ian Erickson, Stephane Voltaire, and Erik Bockisch represent the offensive line group. Bockisch was a first team All-New England Prep School Athletic Council player in Connecticut, Erickson hails from the talent-rich state of Georgia, and Voltaire’s 6-foot-5, 280-pound frame is tailor-made for college football.

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Villanova grabbed one of Texas’ most productive receivers in Irene Ngabonziza. Wide receivers Daniel Lopes and Ethan Carr are both 6-2 and could help replace Changa Hodge.

The recruiting class will bolster a Villanova team that was expected to compete for the Colonial Athletic Association championship before the season’s postponement. With the season moving to the spring, Villanova capped its recruiting class at 11. The Wildcats may not add any more players unless a transfer comes on board before the spring.

Last season, freshman running backs DeeWil Barlee and TD Ayo-Durojaiye combined for more than 1,000 yards rushing for Villanova. And next year’s roster should be more experienced than usual because the NCAA is granting all players an extra year of eligibility.

“With the whole roster of last year’s playoff team, other than the guys that went FBS last fall, coming back, it’s going to be more challenging for these new players to have as early an impact as some past classes,” Ferrante said. “If they can come in and move their way up the depth chart, then that makes the team better.”

» READ MORE: NCAA transfer rule means Temple’s 2021 recruiting class may not be nearly done | National Signing Day

Villanova signings

DB Chantz Harley, 6-1 175, Landon, Md.

DB Christian Sapp 6-0 190, East Stroudsburg South (Pa.)

LB Shane Hartzell, 6-0 225, Pennridge

DL Bryce Ganious, 6-2 270, Second Baptist (Texas)

WR Ethan Carr, 6-2 205, Penn-Trafford (Pa.)

WR Daniel Lopes, 6-2 190, Cheshire Academy (Conn.)

WR Irene Ngabonziza, 5-10 180, Nolan Catholic (Texas)

OL Erik Bockisch, 6-4 290, Salisbury School (Conn.)

OL Ian Erickson, 6-6 320, Marist School (Ga.)

OL Stephane Voltaire, 6-5 280, Tabor Academy (Mass.)

TE Antonio Johnson, 6-4 255, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.)