Question: John Finneran (6'6", 280 lb. Offensive Line, Santa Margarita Catholic, California) was a recruiting name people were interested to see, in part we think because he's Brian's cousin?
Coach: Yes, they are distant cousins.
Again, it's a continuation of the California recruiting connection. Our experts on Rivals.com said that he was actually getting some action from schools like Nebraska and Washington State, but settled on Villanova because of the school, the education, the location, etc. What are your thoughts on John?
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He's obviously a big kid. He has the potential to be as good of an O-lineman as we've had here. Football is very important to him, and I think he's a 1-A player that made the decision to play at this level. The fact that both Finnerans had great success here played into it. He is motivated academically, as he's a smart guy.
I think he realizes that you need to have a good education. He's one of those kids that put the whole thing together and saw the big picture.
Great! What about Bryan Adams (6'0", 220lb. Linebacker, Saint Joseph High School, New Jersey)? One of our recruiting experts say that he probably was the best one you got, and that at one point he was considered by Syracuse, Boston College and Rutgers but his height made them back off.
That's the kind of player that a lot of the 1-AA schools get. They are just an inch too short, or aren't quite big enough. At 6'0", 220 lb., he may end up being 6'1", 225 or 230 and can run, and he can play in any Division 1 program around. He's got a lot of speed and quickness, and that's one of the reasons we recruited him. I think many of the defenses now on the college level are getting a little smaller because they are trying to defend the pass. Linebackers that you are seeing now... that old 6'2" 230 lb. linebacker is gone, replaced by a strong safety.
Which brings us to the next one, Michael Andrews from Florida, who I guess played some linebacker in high school...
He turned tail and went to Youngstown.
Ah ok, well, we didn't like him anyway (laughing). (Michael) Castellano (6'2 1/2", 235 lb. Defensive End, Freehold Township High School, New Jersey), from Freehold. Is he going to be a linebacker or a defensive lineman?
No. Mike is one of those kids we're definately going to red shirt. He has to play on the defensive line for us. He's undersized right now, so he's got to get up to that 250, 260 range. It will probably take him two years to get there. But again, a player that can run. Down the line he's a player that can play for us.
In fact both defensive lineman, the other kid from California, Jim Dubenetzky, St. Augustine High School in San Diego... 6'4", 235lb. His dad played at Notre Dame. His dad is about 6'6", 265, so the kid is going to fill out. But he and Mike are two kids that you put the red shirt tag on them right away... it's going to take time before they grow into defensive linemen. There's no help from them right now. I doubt very seriously that they are going to come in and help as freshmen. That's where Rashid Storey (who on signing day signed with West Virgnia despite a verbal to Villanova) was so important to us. He was ready to go, strong, 260 lb., he was a strong as most guys on our team right now. He was going to come in an help us on the defensive line, so that's why that was such a disappointment.
So who do you think will come in next year and potentially see some time? I know you don't typically don't play a whole lot of freshmen.
I would say right now that the only player that may be able to come in and help us early would be J.J. (Outlaw). But again, if John Dieser and Leighton Zema come through for us, we would probably red shirt J.J. and hold him off.
I think the two offensive linemen Tim McCutcheon (6'5", 260 lb., Quaker Valley High School, Pennsylvania) and John Finneran could be in the mix as freshmen if they pick up the system. We certainly could use their size and they come in ready-made. They probably are going to be strong enough to handle themselves. Whereas the two d-linemen aren't strong enough to come in and play right away. The two big kids are, and come out of really great programs, especially Finneran. So, they could end up being second team guys and traveling for us.
If I take a look at some of the other guys, Martin Gibson (5'10", 186 lb. Running back, Wyoming Seminary, Maryland), and Andre Pogue (6'0", 198 lb. Safety, Wyoming Seminary, Maryland) both come in with a year of prep school under their belt. Quite possibly if we got in a pinch and Martin could learn our offense, he could potentially be a guy that could travel, maybe help and play on special teams, as could Andre who we think could be a pretty good safety.
Marvin Burroughs (6'1", 187 lb., Quarterback, Atlantic City High School, New Jersey) a down-the-line kid who is the first athletic quarterback that we recruited -- a kid that can run and throw. He a kid we recruited for the future, so he's going to likely red shirt.
Aaron Jones (5'11", 185 lb. Running Back, Wilkinsburg High School, Pennsylvania) is an interesting running back. He broke his ankle in the 4th game of the year and we took him like we we took Brian Westbrook... he rushed for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior. His senior year no one had any tape on him, but the little bit we saw of him, we liked him and we took a chance. We think he's going to be a really good player and a good running back as time goes on. He and Gibson, I think, are two pretty gifted running backs.
The interesting kid here is Kasey O'Brien (6'1", 205 lb. Linebacker, Westlake High School, California). His dad is Jim O'Brien who kicked the winning field goal in Super Bowl 23 for the Baltimore Colts. They won that game in overtime I believe... Jim O'Brien was a quarterback kicker, but won Super Bowl 23. He's a kid who had a lot of 1-AA offers. He played strong safety, but we're going to move him to linebacker. He has the potential to come in a help a little.