Gilman cornerback Korey Stevens visited Villanova Tuesday and was so impressed with the football coaching staff and the school's business program that as soon as he got home he committed to play for the Wildcats.
"What kind of separated Villanova from the other schools is I didn't feel like the coaches looked at me as a player first. They looked at me as family first, so I loved that whole aspect of it. I felt like I was part of the community as soon as I stepped on campus."
Stevens, who will be a senior in the fall, also visited Rutgers, Toledo, Old Dominion and UNC-Charlotte and was considering Kent State, Northern Illinois and Maryland before making his commitment.
A 3.0 student who plans to enroll in the business school, Stevens said when he got to the Villanova campus, just outside Philadelphia, the first thing the coach talked to him about was the business program. That impressed him, as did the campus and its proximity to his Columbia home.
A 5-foot-11, 170 pound cornerback who also plays receiver for the Greyhounds, Stevens said he was recruited for defense but it's possible he could end up on offense.
"I like both positions. As long as I'm on the field, I'm OK," Stevens said with a laugh.
Gilman assistant coach Henry Russell said Stevens will have an increased role on both sides of the ball this fall for the Greyhounds.
"He's got great feet, great hips, really good speed and he's got good ball skills," Russell said. "He's got great reach. His nickname is Spiderman. He does a lot for us. He made some big-time plays last year, some diving touchdowns and some interceptions. We lost almost all of our skill guys in the secondary and our receivers, so we're expecting a big year out of him."
Russell expects Stevens to fit well into Villanova's defense as a corner who can cover man-to-man and also play a zone. He would also work well as a slot receiver in an offense that runs a lot of formations with four receivers, the coach said.
Stevens said he met with secondary coach Tony Trisciani to go over how he could fit into the Wildcats' defensive scheme.
"It fit my style perfectly," Stevens said. "They mix it up a little bit. It's not just one thing. They kind of disguise stuff, so I love the whole defensive scheme. They let their DBs roam freely so we can play a lot of man coverage. I like man a lot and just kind of isolated, so it allows me to make plays which I think my specialty is as a defensive back.
"The way the coaching is, it's constructive; it's never negative, so I think I'll be able to learn a lot as soon as I step on campus and each and every year as I pass through."