Loyola senior Charlie Gilroy plans to play football at the school he always wanted to attend.

A longtime fan of Villanova University, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound tight end announced his commitment to the Wildcats on Wednesday at Loyola. An FCS program, Villanova plays in the Colonial Athletic Association.

“My uncle and aunt both there, and it’s a place I would have loved to go even if I wasn’t playing football,” Gilroy said. “I really enjoyed my visit, and I’m excited about the opportunity.”

Gilroy (pictured above) is one of six Ramblers who have decided to continue their football careers in college. Quinn Boyle (St. Thomas), Alec Brownlee (Middlebury), Marty Geary (Dayton), Charlie Gross (Fordham) and John McMahon (St. Thomas) are the others. As juniors and seniors, they contributed to Loyola’s two Class 8A runner-up finishes and two undefeated Catholic Blue championships.

Loyola offensive coordinator Tyler Vradenburg said Gilroy’s work ethic will serve him well at Villanova. Gilroy caught 11 passes for 112 yards and one touchdown as a senior.

“His motor will take him to that next level,” Vradenburg said. “He has the physical tools, and nobody puts in more work than him.”

Another strength of Gilroy’s, according to Vradenburg, is his ability to recognize a weakness. After his junior year, Gilroy said he concentrated on improving his receiving skills, such as running routes, during the offseason.

“I still need to make them more crisp,” he said. “I plan to get in a lot of reps this spring and summer before I go to college.”

Boyle is the third consecutive Loyola quarterback to play in college, following the lead of Emmett Clifford (Class of 2016) and Tommy Herion (Class of 2017). Clifford is at Holy Cross, while Herion is at New Hampshire.

“He probably could have gone to an FCS school, somewhere in the Patriot League, but I think St. Thomas is a great fit for him,” Vradenburg said of the Tommies, who are a Division III program. “He’s a couple of years away because he needs to put on weight and get stronger, but I am super excited for him to go there.”

Photo credit: Geoff Scott