McCloskey: 'Easy decision' to commit to Villanova
Villanova's 2017 recruiting class, the first for new coach and former longtime assistant Mark Ferrante, has been rated among the best in FCS. It's also considered one the best ever for the Wildcats, although there's no way to know for a while. So for the time being it's just projections.
VILLANOVA'S 2017 recruiting class, the first for new coach and former longtime assistant Mark Ferrante, has been rated among the best in FCS. It's also considered one the best ever for the Wildcats, although there's no way to know for a while. So, for the time being it's just projections.
Of the 13 players who verbally committed to come to the Main Line in a defensive-heavy class, Germantown Academy quarterback Kyle McCloskey was the first one to pledge his allegiance early last June.
"I was talking to coach Ferrante all throughout the process," said McCloskey, a 6-4, 210-pound lefthander who threw for 3,902 yards and 45 touchdowns in three seasons. "I've always been a Villanova fan. It was the best option to combine academics, location and playing championship-level football. It was an easy decision.
"Once I told them, I was very active. Anytime I saw someone was interested, I reached out to them. I wanted to show them why I was so excited about going there. And most of the people I talked to ended up committing, too. It's awesome. We've had some group chats. They want the same things I do. We've got some guys who are expected to do big things."
The Wildcats are getting running back Damone Drew, from Stafford, Va., who appeared headed to Syracuse. They also landed two Public Leaguers, which hasn't happened in some time: defensive back Jaquan Amos (Northeast) and linebacker Amin Black (Imhotep).
McCloskey — whose father Mike was a tight end at Father Judge, Penn State (on the 1982 national-title team) and in the NFL, a career that ended with the Eagles — had offers from Mid-America Conference schools as well as other Colonial Athletic Association programs (including Delaware), plus Penn, Princeton and Harvard from the Ivy League. The Quakers even talked to him about playing basketball, too. Now he'll have to settle for watching Jay Wright's team, as he did on Sunday in South Philly when the Wildcats got past Virginia at the buzzer.
His sister Kiernan plays basketball at Lehigh. Megan, their other sibling, is a high-jumper at Penn State.
"Athletics was probably the second-biggest part of my choice," said McCloskey, who's planning on going to business school (his dad has a financial management company) while acknowledging a part of him is interested in sports management. "Everyone knows someday the ball's going to stop bouncing and you've got to move on. I want to enjoy the next four or five years. I want to set myself up for the next 40. That's been instilled in my family."
On the field, McCloskey is more of a pure dropback passer, though he was his team's leading rusher the past two years. Villanova used to have QBs like that all the time, but recently it has used talents who can beat you just as much with their legs, such as Chris Whitney and Walter Payton Award winner John Robertson. Current starter Zach Bednarczyk can also do that, and he has two years of eligibility remaining. Plus other young QBs are already in the mix. Yet McCloskey doesn't see any of that as a negative.
"Sometimes, because of my size, people assume I can't move as well," he said. "I think I'm athletic enough to do the stuff they want, even though my strength is throwing. I think I'm at my best when I'm forced to compete. The best player will be next up.
"A few places told me I'd start from Day 1. It was tempting, but I really think I need another year or two to keep growing. That will give me a better chance to eventually reach my full potential and try to be part of another big-time run. That's one of the reasons we wanted Villanova."