OL Villanueva Committed, Still Taking Visits

In mid-December, offensive lineman Fernando Villanueva of Independence High School in San Jose decommitted from Washington State. Shortly after he made the decision to stay close to home and commit to San Jose State. However, a recent offer has him taking advantage of his remaining official visits.

Even while committed to Washington State, offensive lineman Fernando Villanueva of Independence High School in San Jose was visiting San Jose State, attending camps in the summer, and the Navy game during the season. He said he had even taken summer classes on the SJSU campus.

In December, he decided to reverse course and stay home rather than venture to the hinterlands of Pullman, Wash. He told Scout.com that he wasn't getting any love from the new staff at Wazzou and decommitted from Washington State. He chose to commit instead to the Spartans.

"I loved the (SJSU) coaching staff and their helping hand," he told Inside Sparta. "I like that they're close to home so I can keep in touch with my family." Verbal commitments are not binding and a player is free to take visit schools even while being pledged to another program. A recent offer came in for Villanueva, and he wants to check it out.

"I was offered by Colorado State last week," he said. "I have an official visit set up there for the 20th of this month."

CSU isn't the only new suitor for the 6-foot-7, 285-pound Villanueva. He said that Nevada has shown interest and may soon be offering as well.

"If they do offer I'll visit them the weekend of the 27th," he said.

A schedule visit to Utah this weekend isn't yet confirmed, Villanueva said.

Has all the interest from the other schools changed his commitment to SJSU?

"I'm still 100 percent committed to San Jose State at this time," he said. "I just want to explore, I feel like I owe it to myself to check things out."

San Jose State took notice of the three-star big man early in his high school career. He said the prior staff of Dick Tomey first began looking at him. Current head coach Mike MacIntyre and his staff continued to recruit Villanueva, with an offer forthcoming during his junior year.

There have been some concerns about the academic side of Villanueva's school life, but he said he's buckled down and has been hitting the books hard, forgoing any other sports for the remainder of his high school career so he can focus on his studies. He added that one of the reasons Nevada has come on of late is precisely because of his academic progress.

"They came down to be assured I had my grades," he said. "They told me they were happy that I was qualified, and that they were going to discuss giving me an offer because of it."

During his official visit, Villanueva's teamed up with another San Jose local who had persevered through academic hurdles to make his dream of attending SJSU come true.

"Jabari Carr was my host," he said. "He had to work hard to get there too so we connected on that."

Don Hoekwater is the Publisher of Inside Sparta. You are welcome to contact Don with any questions or suggestions at publisher@insidesparta.net.

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