December 4, 2022

Villanova is coming off their 3rd CAA Championship and their first outright title since 2009 when the Wildcats won the FCS National Championship. The Wildcats utilized a dominant defense last season that ranked #1 in the CAA as Villanova made a run to the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs. The 2022 defensive unit returns multiple top contributors and received another major addition in former Charlotte defensive back Jonnie Pitman

Pitman was a 2-star recruit out of Oxon Hill, MD and ranked as a Top-55 player in the state of Maryland. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound DB was a two-time 3A All-Conference selection and helped lead Potomac High School to four straight Maryland 3A playoff runs. Over his high school career Pitman totaled over 60 tackles, 5 interceptions, 21 pass breakups, & was a two-time team captain selection. Pitman committed to Charlotte in July of 2017 over multiple other programs including Army, Navy, & Ohio. 

Pitman maintained his redshirt in 2018 after only playing in four games, but earned a starting role as a redshirt freshman in 2019 for the 49ers. Over his four seasons with the 49ers; Pitman totaled 33 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, & 3 pass breakups. After entering the transfer portal, Pitman received offers from multiple FCS programs including Prairie View A&M, Delaware State, UAlbany, & Bethune-Cookman. Pitman will have two years of eligibility left at Villanova and should be an immediate contributor for the Wildcats in the 2022 season. 

The Wildcats secondary experienced some major departures this offseason, including All-American DB Christian Benford who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 6th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Pitman will join Ethan Potter, Jalen Goodman, & Ty Trinh in the secondary for the Wildcats as that trio contributed over 120 tackles, 8 pass breakups, & 2 interceptions in the 2021 season. Pitman brings a large amount of experience and athleticism to the backend of the Villanova defense and should be a key piece to the Wildcats repeating as CAA champions.

Villanova begins their defense of the CAA title against Leigh on September 2nd before traveling to Long Island in Week 2 for an interesting out of conference matchup. 

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