HARRISONBURG — Mark Ferrante made the trek.
He wanted to see a prospect in person, so he drove from Villanova University to Milford, Pa., which borders on northern New Jersey and New York.
“I really liked Bryan [Schor] and I knew his coach really well,” the first-year Villanova coach said.
At the time, Ferrante was the offensive line coach for longtime Wildcats coach Andy Talley. Schor was in his junior year at Delaware Valley High School.
Saturday, Ferrante and Schor, the James Madison senior quarterback, square off as the No. 1 Dukes host the No. 11 Wildcats at Bridgeforth Stadium.
“I recruited eastern Pennsylvania,” Ferrante said. “But he’s up there at Delaware Valley High School, which isn’t an easy place to get to, and I would say his high school was 40 minutes or more away from any other high school, so when you go up there to see those guys, you’re going up there to just see those guys.
“But I remember watching Bryan Schor at the District 11 track meet where he was throwing the javelin his junior year. So we knew about him and we liked him, and we probably would have recruited him and potentially would have offered him a scholarship, but he committed to Miami [Ohio] before his senior year.”
Schor, of course, never got to Miami as the RedHawks pulled his scholarship offer after a coaching change. The signal-caller eventually made it JMU after a spring-semester stint at Lackawanna College in 2014.
Ferrante said he wished Miami would’ve kept Schor so that Villanova didn’t have to spend so much time figuring out how to defend Schor in each of the past two seasons. After Schor committed to Miami, Ferrante said Villanova began recruiting current Wildcats injured starter Zach Bednarczyk.
Schor enters Saturday’s contest having thrown for 1,031 yards and 12 touchdowns through five games.
“I joked with [Ferrante] at [Colonial Athletic Association] media day about it,” Schor said. “I’ve always liked him from when I met him, and obviously he’s a really good coach.
“Just with the defense they’ve put together at Villanova the past few years, it’s been a pain to play against, so I definitely have a lot of respect for him.”
Ferrante said the Wildcats would focus on slowing JMU’s rushing attack first, but that they also must contain Schor to win.
“Whether that’s Bryan throwing it or Bryan scrambling around, you have to do as complete of a job as you can,” Ferrante said.
Schor isn’t the only Pennsylvania quarterback Villanova has missed out on. Ferrante said he scouted Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta, who played at Downingtown East High School in Exton, Pa.
“Lauletta lives a half hour from campus and I knew all about him, too, in 10th and 11th grade. But Kyle came out in a year when we only had seven scholarships, so we did not sign a quarterback that year,” Ferrante said. “So we didn’t really recruit him just because of that. So two local guys are the two premier players in our league against us, go figure.”