1-on-1: 'Nova QB Kyle McCloskey

Villanova Frosh, QB, Kyle McCloskey talks with Leader Johnson about his game, the coaching staff, growing up, his favorite cheesesteaks, and more ...

Villanova Frosh, Kyle McCloskey knows football.  He is a very competitive, 6-4, 2-5 pound, quarterback out of Fort Washington, PA with mobility and a good arm.  This past season at Germantown Academy, he had 1,400 yards passing with 18 touchdowns and 24/7 rated him the 35th best prospect in Pennsylvania and 63rd among quarterbacks in the nation.  Kyle McCloskey recently clocked a faster 40 time and he continues to add strength.  His leadership and toughness will make a him a Villanova favorite.

Leader Johnson: How has this journey been Kyle and what made you choose Villanova?

Kyle McCloskey: The journey has been great. What really made my decision when it came to deciding on ‘Nova was the fantastic football history, the coaching staff, the superior academics, and the location in relation to where I am from.

Leader Johnson: How is new coach Mark Ferrante and have you met Andy Talley?

Kyle McCloskey: Coach Ferrante has been great.  He recruited me all along the way as both my area recruiter and as the head coach.  Over the years he has been the coach who I have talked to and interacted with the most.  I have met coach Talley a few times.  During my first visit to Nova, he was the one to give me a tour and sit down with me at the end of the day.  Coach Talley is a great guy and has done an amazing job building the football program at Nova, and another great coach and great person in Coach Ferrante is following him.

Leader Johnson: How is offensive coordinator Sam Venuto and the new coaching staff as a whole?  What have Venuto and Ferrante explained to you about your future?

Kyle McCloskey: Coach Venuto is great.  I cannot wait to get to work with him.  What excites me about coach Venuto is that I know he is going to be hard on me and definitively will not let me off easy, and I personally believe that form of coaching produces the best results and the best players.  The rest of the coaching staff is great too.  They have been very receptive and helpful when I have questions and you can tell that all of them have fully bought in to what ‘Nova is doing and really cannot wait to get after it this fall.

Leader Johnson: Have you talked to Zach Bednarczyk and what players have you got close with?

Kyle McCloskey: I have talked to Zach in passing a couple times, but not very much yet.  I really look forward to working with him and learning stuff about the position from him.  During my official, I ended up spending a lot of time with Paul Grattan, Pat Lawler, and Jack Schetelich.  These three showed me around and I got to know them a little bit.  It will be nice to have some friendly faces when I show up to campus in June.

Leader Johnson: This is the No.1 rated class in the CAA are you all close?

Kyle McCloskey: Yes we are very close.  As the first commit of the class, I have done my part in talking and trying to recruit every person we have had commit, so I have spoken personally with almost everyone in our class.  We are obviously a very defensive heavy class, but we definitely have some studs on both sides of the ball.  We are all in a group chat and we talk almost everyday.  I know, just based on who we have in the class and the way we interact, that we are all really ready to get to work, and we know that we have a lot of expectations.  Everyone within the class doesn't just want to live up to our expectations, we want to surpass them.

Leader Johnson:  You have accuracy.  I love how you find the target and your feet move, you have the potential to be something special what part of your game has improved the most?

Kyle McCloskey: Over the past three years, I have worked hardest to improve my accuracy.  I have always had a strong arm and I have always had a good understanding of the game when it comes to playbooks and coverages.  So, when it came to improving, I wanted to improve accuracy because if I know I'm making the right read, and I know I have the arm strength to get the ball there, now I will know that the ball will be in the right place when it gets there.

Leader Johnson: What is Villanova getting with Kyle McCloskey?

Kyle McCloskey: What Villanova is getting in me is a quarterback who will work as hard as anyone in all facets of the game; technique, strength and conditioning, and the off the field stuff like knowing the playbook inside and out and breaking down the film.  Also, Villanova will get an athlete.  I have the utmost confidence in my arm and what I can do throwing the ball, but I also have an extreme comfortableness getting out of the pocket whether it be to throw on the move or tuck it and run.  Finally, what Nova will get in me is someone who will do anything to win.  When I look back on my high school career, I don't pride myself on my stats, I pride myself in the fact that when it came down to it, I led my team to do what we needed to to win.  In my senior year alone, I led four late game drives to either win the game or tie it, all of which started around the twenty yard line with about or less than three minutes left in the game.

Leader Johnson: What makes a great quarterback?

Kyle McCloskey: What makes a great quarterback is confidence in your abilities, and the ability to adjust and react after you make a mistake. Mistakes are going to happen when it comes to football, you're going to throw an interception, you're going to make the wrong call, no one is perfect.  The key to being a great quarterback is not only forgetting those mistakes and not letting them affect the rest of your game, it is learning from these mistakes so they don't happen again.

Leader Johnson: Who is your favorite player in the NFL?  Who do you model your game after?  Who do you think is the best quarterback in the NFL?

Kyle McCloskey: My favorite player to watch in the NFL is Aaron Rogers.  It amazes me every time I watch him the way he stays calm and makes throws I didn't know were possible to make.  When it comes to modeling my game after someone in the NFL, I like to look at Carson Wentz.  He is about my size, the size I hope to end up, and he went to an FCS school.  He isn't perfect throwing the ball yet, but he makes plays and is an athlete, and I like to - that is what I do on a smaller level.  When I watch the Eagles on Sunday, I watch everything he does and try to model how I play after him.

Leader Johnson: What impresses you the most about this football program?

Kyle McCloskey: What impresses me most is the toughness and resilience of this team.  The year before this one they faced a lot of injuries and had a tougher year than usual, but they did not allow that to become a trend.  Instead, they fought and trained harder than ever and retook their place among the best in FCS football this year.

Leader Johnson: I was born in Philly and I am a hoagie guy.  An often debated question in Philly is “who has the best cheestesteaks and hoagies?” I'm going to say Max's on Broad and Erie … what is your pick?

Kyle McCloskey: Personally, my favorite cheesesteaks and hoagies are from Philly's Phamous on Tennis Ave in Ambler right outside of Philly.  They make amazing cheesesteaks.  My favorite is their buffalo chicken cheesesteaks which they are famous for.  In my opinion, they are the best because of their bread.  I believe anyone who loves cheesesteaks should definitely give this place a try.

Leader Johnson: Where were you born and raised and how are your parents a big influence in your life?

Kyle McCloskey: I was born and raised outside of Philly in a little town called Lower Gwynedd.  My parents were definitely the most influential people in my life by far.  Both of them were athletes at Penn State.  My mom ran track and my dad was a tight end on the 1982-83 National Championship team and went on to play in the NFL, so I definitely inherited good genes from them.  They have both been my biggest fans and harshest critics and supported me every step along the way.  It has been a blessing having two parents both involved in sports so much, especially having my dad who knows so much about football and helped me fall in love with the sport. 

Leader Johnson: What do you think is the underrated perception of being a quarterback?

Kyle McCloskey: I think an underrated quality about quarterbacks is toughness.  Simply because they do not get hit in practice does not mean they're soft.  Personally, I played half my junior season with a cast on my non-throwing hand because I broke it during a game, but I did not miss a snap that season because of it.

Leader Johnson: What do you think of the future of Villanova when you look at this team?

Kyle McCloskey: I think the future of the program is extremely bright.  There are new facilities, new coaches, and a mindset that we are the best team in not only our league but in the country as well.  I think football at Villanova is only getting better, and it is already great.

Leader Johnson: What do you think of guys like Damone Drew, Trajan Anderson, Forrest Rhyne, and others … is this class all hype or is it the real deal and why?

Kyle McCloskey: Every one of those guys is a stud. We have a bunch of guys, including myself, who passed up pretty competitive offers from FBS schools because we all believe that something special is happening at ‘Nova, and we are all bought into that.  I personally believe that the hype is well deserved.  Based on what I know about the guys coming in, they all have extreme God-given talents, but also work as hard as anyone I know.  So I don't think that this class is all hype.

Leader Johnson: Great talking to you.  I hear great things about you and will be watching you and this program.

Kyle McCloskey: Thank you, it was great talking to you as well.  Looking forward to it.  Go Cats!

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