Before this year, Louis Bennett had only taken one transfer in his first 16 years as a Division-I head coach.
After his 17th, he’s allowing two players to transfer into his program.
David Selvaggi and Brady Wahl, who left DePaul and Ohio State, respectively, are two of the newest members of Bennett’s team. Both spent two seasons at their previous school before making the choice to transfer to Marquette.
Selvaggi is a forward who had a promising freshman season at DePaul, scoring nine goals and being named Big East Freshman of the Week twice. Both his seasons saw the team finish toward the bottom of their division in the Big East, so Selvaggi decided to play elsewhere.
His brother, Anthony, is a senior at Marquette and played four years for Bennett. Selvaggi will have to sit out a year at Marquette because he will go to a school in the same conference as DePaul.
Bennett assumed Selvaggi would not want to come to Marquette for all those reasons. That didn’t stop David’s pursuit of transferring to the school where his brother played.
“I painted a picture that was pretty bleak, and David kept bouncing back and saying, ‘No, I really want this,’” Bennett said.
There were no concerns of having to follow in his brother’s footsteps for Selvaggi. All that was on his mind was having some of the same memories and accomplishing the same things Anthony was able to.
“I think (Bennett) might have thought I would want to explore other options and not choose Marquette, but hearing the experiences my brother had here and all that happened, I felt I wasn’t experiencing that at DePaul,” Selvaggi said. “I wanted to try to be lucky enough to experience some of those things my brother was having.”
The forward will redshirt next season and have two years left of eligibility.
Like Selvaggi, Wahl was already pretty familiar with the program. He was being recruited by Marquette before committing to Ohio State in January of his junior year in high school.
Wahl was a member of the Chicago Fire Academy Team in high school, where he teamed with current Golden Eagles junior midfielder Bryan Ciesiulka. Over the course of the last season, Wahl noticed Marquette’s success and contacted Ciesiulka to congratulate him. As the time came to pick a new school, Wahl became interested in becoming a Golden Eagle.
“When I got my release, I had some serious conversations with him about Marquette in general – the school, how he’s liked it,” Wahl said. “Bryan is a kid I trust a lot. From the feedback I got from him, I knew when I got on campus, if I got that feel that I could see myself here, it’d be a no-brainer. I did my research, and once I came here it would be a matter of how I felt about it.”
In his two seasons at Ohio State, Wahl played in a defensive midfield role. He appeared in 36 games and made 33 starts. Bennett expects Wahl, who is eligible to play immediately, to compete for a spot in Marquette’s midfield right away.
Bennett said his team doesn’t hand out playing time but does give opportunities. He believes both are ready to put themselves in the best position to take that chance.
“They’ve taken the wheel with two hands,” Bennett said, “and believe you me, they want to drive.”