RICHMOND, Va.--Senior linebacker Ed Shockley (Millville, N.J.) and senior punter John Hinchen (Saddle River, N.J.) led four Villanova all-conference selections by being named to the CAA Football All-Conference first team in an announcement by the conference office on Tuesday afternoon. Senior cornerback Malik Reaves (Jacksonville, Fla.) and junior offensive lineman Ethan Greenidge (Flanders, N.Y.) were each chosen as second team all-conference selections. The postseason All-CAA teams and major award winners were voted on by league head coaches following the conclusion of regular season play.
Hinchen was one of the top punters in the nation this season, and he ended the year leading CAA Football and ranked 10th nationally with an average of 42.9 yards per punt. He punted 58 times for a total of 2,491 yards, with 14 of his attempts traveling longer than 50 yards and nine being downed inside the other team's own 20-yard line. More than a quarter of his punts (17 of 58) were fair caught, and opponents averaged just 8.2 yards on 24 returns. As a team, the Wildcats net punting average of 38.1 yards ranked in the top 20 among all FCS teams.
This is the fourth straight year that Hinchen has handled the punting duties for Villanova, and he finished his collegiate career having played in all 49 team games over the last four seasons. Hinchen's career totals include 208 punts for 8,574 yards, with an average of 41.2 yards per punt and a long attempt of 71 yards which he accomplished at Richmond on October 15, 2016. Of his 208 career punts, he had 52 which landed inside the 20-yard line, 35 of 50 yards or longer and 55 which were fair caught.
Shockley and Reaves were among the top performers on a Wildcats defense that ranked among the best in the nation for the second straight year. Villanova ended the regular season ranked fourth in the FCS in rushing defense as well as ninth in scoring defense. The team limited its opposition to just 76.2 rushing yards per contest, with more opponents (four) being held below 50 yards than rushing for over 100 yards (three) in a game. Opposing teams managed just 2.5 yards per rush on the season, and the Wildcats gave up only 17 offensive touchdowns in 11 games. Villanova gave up 16.1 points per contest.
In his final collegiate season, Shockley started all 11 games for the Wildcats and became the team's first player since 2014 to reach triple digits in tackles. He led Villanova with 101 total stops, with his 56 solo tackles and 45 assisted stops also tops on the team. Shockley ranked second on the Wildcats defense with 7.5 tackles for loss and was tied for second with four pass breakups and one forced fumble. He closed the season on a tear by posting three consecutive games with double digits in tackles. In that stretch, which included games against Richmond, Rhode Island and Delaware, Shockley had a total of 34 total tackles. He recorded six of his nine career double-figure tackle games this season.
Shockley ranked second in CAA Football in solo tackles and third in total tackles during the 2017 campaign. He was a four-year contributor on the field during his collegiate career, and played in all but one Villanova game during his four seasons. Shockley winds up his career with 256 total tackles (157 solo, 99 assisted), including 28.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. He added one interception, six pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
One of the top playmakers on the Wildcats defense, Reaves helped secure the Wildcats season-ending win over Delaware in the "Battle of the Blue" game with an interception in the third quarter which set up a Villanova scoring drive. Reaves had two interceptions on the season to go along with two pass breakups and a forced fumble. He ranked fourth on the team with 58 tackles, including 35 solo stops and 23 assisted tackles.
Reaves recorded two of his three career games with double digits in tackles this season, with 11 total stops in wins over both Lehigh and Towson. He played in 45 career games for the Wildcats and tallied 187 total tackles to go along with six tackles for loss, four interceptions which were returned for a total of 79 yards, nine pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Greenidge is the starting left tackle on the Villanova offensive line and has started 33 games over the past three years. That includes starting all 11 games during the 2017 season, when he anchored the Wildcats offensive line. Villanova scored 28 or more points four times during the season, and also had 11 rushing touchdowns and surpassed 200 rushing yards in a game on three occasions. That includes running for 261 yards in the season finale against Delaware to retain the Battle of the Blue Trophy for a sixth consecutive season.
The major conference award winners announced by the CAA on Tuesday included Offensive Player of the Year (Kyle Lauletta, Richmond); Defensive Player of the Year (Andrew Ankrah, James Madison); Coach of the Year (Curt Cignetti, Elon); Special Teams Player of the Year (John Miller, James Madison); Offensive Rookie of the Year (Davis Cheek, Elon); and Defensive Rookie of the Year (Colby Reeder, Delaware).