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Waynesboro's Forrest Rhyne commits to Villanova

With statistics like Forrest Rhyne's, the Division I schools were bound to come calling.

After piling up 151 tackles, including 51 solo tackles and 33 for a loss, during his junior year, Waynesboro linebacker Rhyne was named to the Pennsylvania Football Writers' All-State Team.

It was just a few weeks after the season ended that Rhyne's first offer came. From there, the calls poured in.

In all, Rhyne received 11 offers from Division I programs, and on Thursday, he ultimately decided to take his talents to Villanova, an FCS program just outside of Philadelphia.

"I knew if I was going to go FCS, then I wanted to go to the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) because I really like the football and the academics," Rhyne said. "Whenever I went up to (Villanova), I had a really great connection with their coaching staff, especially the defensive coordinator. I loved the campus, and the academic part of it is great."

Rhyne, a 6-foot-1, 222-pound rising senior, was offered a full scholarship to play at Villanova, where he'll study criminology and play against the likes of James Madison, Richmond, Towson and more. Although it isn't certain, Rhyne said it's likely he'll red-shirt his freshman year.

"That way, I'll be able to get into their program and their lifting schedule, how they do things," Rhyne said. "I'll get my academics under control, too, and then I can try to get my position on the team."

But before all of that begins, Rhyne still has one year left with the Indians.

"I'm all the time trying to mold all 115 kids in the program, so that'll never change," Waynesboro coach Steve Myers said. "As a linebacker, he's got great vision, and once he sees it, he attacks it. He's aggressive. He makes the right reads, and he goes and gets it, which is what you want out of all your linebackers."

Although there is always room for individual improvement, Rhyne said in his final year, he's more concerned about winning games with his team.

Rhyne is the first Waynesboro football player to go to a Division I program since Jeb Keller, a 2002 graduate, played for Delaware. But Rhyne's signing has already brought more attention to the Indians.

"We even had schools that were visiting our spring practices," Rhyne said. "Cameron Keck, who is my good friend, he started getting some looks, because they were coming in to watch me."

Myers said, "With all the guys coming in to see Forrest, it was a way to get other guys in front of them, too. The reason (Rhyne) got a Division I scholarship is because they saw the way he worked, what he did in the weight room and in the offseason."

That's not going to stop any time soon.