Villanova is expected to sign at least 12 high school football players to national letters of intent during the early signing period that begins Wednesday.

Two of the Wildcats' more notable commitments to the freshman class of 2018 are defensive lineman Garrett Zobel of La Salle College High School and linebacker Qwahsin Townsel of St. Joseph's (N.J.).

The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Zobel earned first-team all-Catholic League honors on offense and defense and made first-team all-state. He took unofficial visits to Penn State, Maryland and Michigan State and committed to Villanova in October.

Townsel, the Inquirer's South Jersey offensive player of the year, led St. Joseph's to the first 12-0 record in school history and a Non-Public 2 state championship. The 6-foot, 205-pounder rushed for 1,608 yards and 31 touchdowns. On defense, he recorded nine tackles for loss.

Other Philadelphia-area players expected to sign with the Wildcats are linebacker Owen Thomas of North Penn and kicker/punter Nathan Fondacaro of St. Augustine Prep.

Quarterback Qadir Ismail of Bel Air, Md., the son of former Syracuse and NFL star Qadry Ismail, also is expected to sign.

Villanova football’s expected 2018 recruiting class

These players are expected to sign letters of intent for Villanova when the early signing period begins Wednesday. Listed with each player's name is his height, weight, position, and high school.

Christian Benford DB 6-0 180 Randallstown (Md.)

Nathan Fondacaro K/P 5-10 180 St. Augustine Prep (N.J.)

Qadir Ismail QB 6-7 205 John Carroll School (Md.)

Jalen Jackson RB 5-9 210 Thomas Jefferson (Va.)

Matthew Mazza OL 6-4 270 Manalapan (N.J.)

James Petrovcik OL 6-2 260 Seton Hall Prep (N.J.)

Darius Pickett DB 5-11 180 McDonogh School (Md.)

Michael Taylor DL 6-2 225 Holy Cross (N.Y.)

Owen Thomas LB 6-4 215 North Penn (Pa.)

Qwahsin Townsel LB 6-0 205 St. Joseph (N.J.)

Elijah Trent DB 6-2 175 Thomas Wooten (Md.)

Garrett Zobel DL 6-3 280 La Salle College (Pa.)