Penn-Trafford football standout Ethan Carr takes his versatility to Villanova

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 | 5:28 PM

Ethan Carr navigated unprecedented times in college football recruiting.

He connected with coaches via his web cam and relied on his junior season highlights to do the rest of the talking during the most critical time in the process. Showcases and camps were wiped from his schedule and never happened.

The rising Penn-Trafford senior, though, still arrived at the same place many recruits who came before him did — before the covid-19 panic caused a drastic change to NCAA regulations and before in-person recruiting was stunted.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Carr, one of the most versatile players in the WPIAL Class of 2021, still managed to land a Division I scholarship — to Villanova.

He announced his intentions Tuesday via Twitter.

Carr, who is the leading candidate to be Penn-Trafford’s quarterback this season, said in the spring that he had more contact with Villanova than any of the other schools courting him. That loyalty turned into a connection.

“What made me decide (on Villanova) was just a lot of thinking after stepping on campus, and the feeling of being there made me comfortable,” he said. “What set ‘Nova apart was most definitely the coaching staff. Just awesome people who made me feel like family throughout the whole process.”

Villanova plays in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Another local player on the Wildcats’ roster is Franklin Regional graduate Todd Summers, another wideout who will be a senior.

While many schools recruited Carr as an “athlete,” a nod to his skill and adaptability, the Wildcats are bringing him in as a wide receiver.

“Ethan is a do-it-all athlete who can line up anywhere and make an impact,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said. “Not only is he fast and athletic with the ball, but his football IQ is high, and he’s a fantastic perimeter blocker. He will have a great career.”

As for the impersonal feel to recruiting this spring and summer, Carr said it was a challenge.

“I wasn’t able to go up against good recruits and have an opportunity to prove myself,” he said. “But I’m just extremely happy it worked perfectly in the end.”

He visited Villanova on July 9-10, after visiting Ball State but was not permitted inside facilities and could not talk to coaches.

His top four schools were Villanova, Army, Richmond and Ball State.

Last season, Carr played at least five positions to help guide the Warriors to a No. 1 seed in the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs and an 11-2 record.

He pulled in 42 receptions for 764 yards and 10 touchdowns, threw for 182 yards and ran for 323 yards and eight scores. Carr also played outside linebacker and safety.

He also had offers from Central Michigan, William & Mary, Akron, Kent State, Bowling Green, Duquesne and Robert Morris.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at or via Twitter .


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