Joe Sarnese was one of the best football players in the Cape-Atlantic League two years ago for Holy Spirit High School.

Now, he’s one of the best players in the Colonial Athletic Association for Villanova University.

Sarnese is tied for third in the CAA with four interceptions this season. The sophomore free safety ranks 23rd in tackles with 63.

“Joe’s really one of the best players in the CAA,” Villanova coach Andy Talley said in his weekly teleconference Monday.

Sarnese started last season as a true freshman but has been even better this year.

“He’s a hitter,” Talley said. “He’s our free hitter guy. He’s physical. And he’s a fast player. He’s got real good ball skills, and Joe’s just a terrific athlete and very heady.

“He’s the guy who makes our calls in the secondary, and everybody here has a lot of respect for him. He is a definite leader on our defense.”