Vineland's DaQuan Cosby fumbles the ball and is brought down by Millville's Edward Shockley during their Thanksgiving Day game against Millville held at Wheaton Field at John Barbose Stadium in Millville. Photo/Dave Griffin

David Griffin

Forget waiting around.

Ed Shockley knew exactly where he wanted to go.

Villanova University offered the Millville High School standout linebacker a full scholarship on Wednesday.

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Less than 24 hours later, Shockley verbally committed to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision school.

"It didn't take long," Shockley said Friday with a laugh. "I couldn't let someone else get that opportunity."

Shockley was one of the top scholastic linebackers in South Jersey last season.

He finished with 110 tackles, five sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble and was a first-team Press All-Star.

Shockley chose Villanova over Monmouth, New Hampshire and Bryant.

"I'm really excited," Shockley said. "It's a great program and a great education. It's just a great university all around."

Shockley also is a standout wrestler. He was a state qualifier last season and is one of the top 195-pounders in the state this winter.

"It was getting crazy talking to coaches every night," Shockley said. "Me and my parents, especially my mom, wanted me to get it over and make the decision so I don't have it floating over my head during wrestling.

"It's a great feeling and a relief. Now I can focus on wrestling and my senior year."

Shockley is the latest football player to continue the Cape-Atlantic League pipeline to Villanova.

He joins Hammonton wide receiver/defensive back Alex Padovani, Holy Spirit linebacker Jeff Steeb and former Oakcrest defensive back Mark Clements in Villanova's recruiting class of 2014.

Villanova offensive linemen Nico D'Angelo (Holy Spirit) and Justin Rhinesmith (Middle Township), place-kicker Chris Gough (St. Augustine Prep) and defensive back Joe Sarnese (Holy Spirit) are all CAL alum expected to return this season.

"We're definitely representing South Jersey and showing that we have talent down here," Shockley said. "Going to school and playing with some people that you already know is a benefit, too."

Shockley grew up in Woodbine and said he followed as Villanova when Lower Cape May Regional grad Matt Szczur and the Wildcats won the FCS national championship in 2009. Under coach Andy Talley, Villanova finished 6-5 (5-3 Colonial Athletic Association) in 2013.

Contact John O’Kane:


Started at The Press in 1993 as an Ocean County reporter. Moved to the copy desk in 1994 until taking over as editor of At The Shore in 1995. Became deputy sports editor in 2004 and was promoted to sports editor in 2007.

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