Millis-Hopedale offensive guard Peter Fallon gave a verbal commitment to Villanova University this morning, according to head coach Dana Olson.
The 6-foot-4, 282-pound Fallon has been one of the hottest-rising offensive line prospects in Massachusetts, collecting more than a half-dozen offers from other Division 1 FCS programs along the East Coast before picking up an offer from Villanova yesterday. At the time of his commitment, Fallon also held offers from Coastal Carolina, Central Connecticut State, Bryant, Sacred Heart, Colgate, Lafayette, Fordham and Holy Cross.
"Every time we kept circling back to where we thought would be a good place for him and his family, the academics and football reputation at Villanova stood out," Olson said. "The big thing with college football is stability. Coach [Mark] Ferrante, the offensive line coach and [associate head coach], has been there 25 years. A lot of their staff has been there a long time. That was a big thing for Pete, the stability of the staff and everything else, the caliber of football, the conference they play in -- the Colonial, which is in my opinion one of the better, if not the best, 1-AA football conference in the country. It all came to a head last night."
With Fallon's commitment today, the Mohawks continue to be an outlier among small-school programs in the Bay State. Despite playing in the lowest level of football offered by the MIAA, Division 6, M-H will have churned out Division 1 offensive line signees in two of the last three recruiting cycles. Former Mohawks star Jon Baker was one of the most coveted linemen in New England back in 2013, ultimately signing with Boston College and enrolling early in January 2014.
And best yet, the Mohawks may have more coming down the road, with senior running back Josh Pierre-Charles and junior wide receiver Brian Espanet garnering their fair share of college interest.
"Obviously, you’ve got to have the kids. Our staff when Dale [Olmsted] was there and the staff I got now, we’re pretty good evaluators," said Olson, who's entering his second season as Mohawks' head coach, after serving as an assistant for a number of years. "We jump on a kid early if we think he has the potential to be a Division 1 scholarship caliber kid. Like with Jon, just his pure strength and size as a freshman, we said ‘Hey, this kid has the opportunity of a lifetime, let’s make sure we steer him in the right path to what he needs to do to try and make that reality’. Obviously, every kid in our program gets 100 percent of our attention.
"It’s just making the contacts, being able to get on the phone with college coaches -- not being relentless, but just saying ‘Hey, we’ve really got kid here, you need to come see him’. Obviously Jon kicked open the door a little bit for us, so when you pick up the phone and call, they already know we got a kid playing in the ACC, so they’re gonna pay a little more attention."
Fallon is one of the best run-blocking interior offensive linemen around Massachusetts for the 2016 class. You can check out his highlights below, courtesy of Hudl: