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Class of 2024 Forward Matthew Hodge Commits to Villanova

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Graydon Paul/Villanovan Photography
Villanova landed its first recruit of the class of 2024.

Villanova landed its first verbal commitment for the class of 2024 Friday afternoon, as four-star forward Matthew Hodge chose the ‘Cats over Maryland, Marquette, Penn State, Seton Hall and Xavier, among others.

Hodge, who plays high school basketball at St. Rose High School in Belmar, N.J., is listed by 247Sports.com as the 98th best prospect in the class of 2024 and the 18th best power forward. The six-foot-eight 200-pound forward led St. Rose to the New Jersey Non-Public B state final, where he put up 19 points and eight rebounds in a loss. 

While New Jersey isn’t a far-fetched area for Villanova to recruit from, St. Rose specifically has a tie back to ‘Nova, as its coach Brian Lynch played for the ‘Cats from 1996-2000. Hodge moved from Belgium to the United States to live with Lynch’s family in 2022. Hodge’s dad, Odell, played college ball at Old Dominion before moving overseas to play professionally. Lynch is Hodge’s godfather, which played a major part in Hodge coming over to the states to play high school basketball in the first place.

Hodge should have plenty of opportunity to come in and make an impact in his first year on the floor, as half of the forwards currently on the roster are seniors or older.

”I chose Villanova because I felt like their vision for me and the way they see me coming in next year was pretty exciting,” Hodge said to On3. “The connection I had with the staff was great.”

Hodge is Neptune’s second high school commit. The first, Jordann Dumont, an unranked forward from Montreal, came in the class of 2023.

Neptune and co. will still need to strengthen their 2024 recruiting class with other commits or transfers, as Villanova has yet to appear on 247Sports.com’s program recruiting rankings. The ‘Cats will lose significant amounts of talent next season, with graduate guard Justin Moore, graduate guard Hakim Hart and graduate forward Tyler Burton all utilizing their last year of eligibility. 

However, Hodge’s commitment is an important first step in what will need to be an impressive recruiting class for the ‘Cats.

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Owen Hewitt, Co-Sports Editor
Owen Hewitt is one of two Co-Sports Editors in 2023. He is a Communication major specializing in journalism. Owen is a Memphis native and a die-hard Grizzlies fan, although his main loyalty lies with Memphis 901 FC. When not writing about basketball or soccer, Owen can often be found on stage, performing as part of Villanova's improv team Ridiculum. Owen has many goals in life, including going into sports journalism as a profession, but his main goal — always — is to stay jitty with it.
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