Villanova lands 13 players on National Signing Day

Villanova lands 13 players on National Signing Day

First-year Villanova head football coach Mark Ferrante inked 13 players to national letters of intent.

The Wildcats added 10 defensive players and three offensive players on National Signing Day.

Villanova will need plenty of help on the defensive side of the ball next season after losing DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, who caught the eyes of NFL scouts at the Senior Bowl last week (see story).

Here's a list of the players Villanova landed on Wednesday:

Jaquan Amos, DB, 6-0, 180
Philadelphia, Pa. - Northeast High School

• Two-year team captain
• First team all-state
• Two-time first team all-city
• Two-time All-Public League
• Team MVP

Trajan Anderson, LB, 6-2, 220
Fredericksburg, Va. - Massaponax High School

• First team all-area
• First team all-conference
• Conference Defensive Player of the Year
• First team all-region
• First team all-state

Amin Black, LB, 5-11, 230
Philadelphia, Pa. - Imhotep Charter

• First team all-state
• Blue-Grey All-American
• First team All-Public League
• First team All-USA Pennsylvania
• 2016 stats: 100 tackles, 35 tackles for loss, six sacks

Damone Drew, RB, 5-10, 195
Stafford, Va. - Brooke Point High School

• First team all-conference
• First team all-region
• Conference Player of the Year
• Second team all-state
• 2016 stats: 2,767 total yards, 31 touchdowns, 8.1 yards per carry

Malik Fisher, DL, 6-3, 220
New York, NY. - Xavier High School

• Two-time all-league
• Two-time team captain
• 2015 city championship
• Career stats: 157 tackles, 17 sacks, five forced fumbles

Lorenzo Hernandez, DL, 6-0, 250
Cherry Hill, NJ. - Cherry Hill West High School

• Courier-Post Defensive Player of the Year
• First team All-South Jersey
• Second team all-state
• NJFAC Super 100 Team
• 2016 stats: 93 tackles, 10 sacks, seven blocked kicks

Jevon Jones, DB, 6-3, 195
Syracuse, NY. - Nottingham High School

• First team all-league
• All-State Class AA
• First team All-Central New York
• Four-year starter
• Team MVP

Julian Liaci, WR, 5-10, 170
Nazareth, Pa. - Nazareth High School

• First team all-conference
• First team all-area Best Athlete
• Second team all-state at DB
• Track & Field: 100-meter district champion
• Track & Field: 4x100 meter relay state champion

Kyle McCloskey, QB, 6-4, 220
Fort Washington, Pa/ - Germantown Academy High School

• Two-time all-league
• First team all-city
• First team all-area
• Two-time Offensive Team MVP
• School record holder for career passing yards, total yards and touchdowns

Darryl McDaniel, DB, 6-0, 185
Washington D.C. - St. John's High School

• Team captain
• WCAC All-Conference as a senior
• WCAC honorable mention as a junior
• Mush Dubofsky Award for Biggest Career Contribution

Jared Nelson, DL, 6-3, 250
Glastonbury, Conn. - Glastonbury High School

• Three-time all-conference
• CHSCA All-State first team
• New Haven Register All-State first team
• Walter Camp All-Connecticut second team
USA Today All-USA Connecticut first team

Josh Patrick, LB, 6-1, 220
Wilmington, Del. - Salesianum High School

• Two-time first team all-conference
• First team all-state
• Second team all-conference at running back

Forrest Rhyne, LB, 6-2, 230
Waynesboro, Pa. - Waynesboro Area High School

• Two-time all-state
• Three-time all-conference
• League MVP
• All-State Super 25 Class 5A
• 2016 stats: 112 total tackles, 74 solo tackles, 21 tackles for loss

Penn State holds off Marquette to reach NIT semifinals

USA Today Images

Penn State holds off Marquette to reach NIT semifinals


MILWAUKEE -- Lamar Stevens tied his career high with 30 points, Tony Carr added 25 and Penn State beat Marquette 85-80 on Tuesday night to advance to the NIT semifinals.

The Nittany Lions (24-13) will face Mississippi State (25-11) at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 27. They advanced to the NIT semis for the first time since winning the 2009 tournament.

Stevens hit three crucial buckets in the final three minutes, including a dunk off an alley-oop pass from Josh Reaves for an eight-point lead with one minute left. The 6-foot-8 Stevens then maneuvered through a couple Marquette players to secure a rebound off Andrew Rowsey's missed 3 with 46 seconds left.

Carr went 5 of 8 from the foul line over the final 30 seconds to give Marquette another chance. Rowsey hit a 3 and a layup to get the Golden Eagles as close as 83-80 with six seconds left before the Golden Eagles ran out of time.

Shep Garner scored 19 points and set two Penn State records, including most 3s in a season (112). Garner's 73 career wins are the most in a four-year span since Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1992-93.

Rowsey, a senior, scored 29 points for Marquette (21-14).

The Golden Eagles had whittled a 14-point deficit early in the second half to 72-68 with 2:39 left on three foul shots by Rowsey. Penn State went nearly three minutes without a bucket and got sloppy with the ball and the sharpshooting Golden Eagles started hitting 3s to get back in the game.

Villanova, Penn with polar opposite NCAA Tournament draws

Villanova, Penn with polar opposite NCAA Tournament draws

No surprises on the Main Line and well, the Quakers have quite the hill to climb to advance.

Villanova on Sunday night was awarded the 1-seed in the East Region and will face the winner of the LIU Brooklyn/Radford game Thursday in Pittsburgh. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:50 p.m. on TNT.

The Wildcats have been a top-two seed since 2014 and it's the second straight year they're a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Villanova was the No. 1 overall seed in last year's tournament.

Penn was named the 16th seed in the Midwest Region and will face the No. 1-seeded Kansas Jayhawks on Thursday at 2 p.m. on TBS in Wichita, Kansas.

Steve Donahue has the Quakers back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007 in his third season as Penn's head coach.

The Quakers are 24-8 and this will be their 24th-ever appearance in the tournament.

'Nova survived a scare from Providence on Saturday night to win its second straight Big East title and its third in the past four years.

If the Wildcats beat LIU Brooklyn/Radford, they'll face the winner of the No. 8-seeded Virginia Tech and No. 9 seed Alabama. Purdue is the No. 2 seed in the East.

Also in the East are No. 3 Texas Tech and No. 4 Wichita State.