This recruiting class was going to be a different one from the others that we have seen from past seasons at Youngstown State. Part of this was from the 2019 season as the Penguins finished with a 6-6 record. But, it was also when Bo Pelini announced he would be leaving the program to head back to LSU. With that, today we look at the Youngstown State signees ahead of the 2021 football season.
In came New Middletown native Doug Phillips. He was a graduate assistant under former head coach Jim Tressel. This was when the Penguins won their National Championship in 1991. Youngstown State would end up defeating Marshall by the final score of 25-17. The process has been tough however due to COVID-19, and the early signing period was held virtually. A few months later, the Penguins begin their eight-game spring FCS season in less than 20 days and the new Youngstown State signees are here too as the Penguins are showing their GRITU fight once more.
Youngstown State Signees
Looking at the future Penguins who have officially signed during the weekend, not only are there a good few from the local areas of Youngstown but some go out from Cleveland and even one right outside of Columbus. The player from outside of the Columbus area that signed with the Penguins is Dublin Scioto’s tight end Joe Trent who in their last game against Perry had 45 yards receiving on four catches, one of his highest being 77 yards against Hayes.
The next signee was wide receiver Daryan Bowling from Hamilton High School who selected YSU over Army, Navy, Ohio, and Toledo. Highlights of his 2020 season came when his quarterback Quincy Simms-Marshall found Bowling for a 70-yard touchdown. He can go up and get the ball while being covered in double or triple coverage. This is something that the Penguins will need for a future star wide receiver.
One of the third signees from a couple of days ago is familiar with the grittiness of Youngstown and that is Poland Offensive and Defensive lineman Nate Williams who last year contender for the Valley’s Big 22 award. One thing he says about Friday nights is the atmosphere and while saying that, he’s smiling and laughing. Part of the game is being serious, yes, but also having fun, and this man does both. The Penguins line is improved from last season, but starting fall 2021, Williams will come to the Ice Castle.
Now, the offense and defense always get love when it comes to football. But, people need to know that special teams, especially kickers matter too and Jonathan Schmidt is looking to prove his point during the fall of 2021. One highlight that was big for Schmidt during the 2020 high school football season was a 31-yard field goal against Streetsboro in the playoffs. Other highlights include a 22-yard field goal, pooch kicks that were tough for the returners to get anywhere. Additionally, he had a 32-yard field goal against Dover. Schmidt is the next man up to continue the tradition of great kickers at YSU, joining Colten McFadden and Grant Gonya.
Meanwhile, for Clay Medvec, he is the starting placekicker for Springfield High School in New Middletown Ohio, Doug Phillips’ hometown, and his former high school where he coached. However, this kicker also has hands with a career total of 58 receptions for 999 yards, averages 17.2 yards per catch, and six touchdowns. On the kicking end, he finished 16 of 22 on field goals with his longest being 52 yards, made 243 out of 256 field goals, and 16,115 yards on kickoffs. Springfield made it to the division six state championship game but lost to Coldwater by three points 38-35. This guy could possibly be playing both in college as well.
Staying on the topic of special teams, YSU already has a strong punting game with Nick DeSalvo, Ryan Teminsky, and a newcomer from Australia Paddy Lynch from Nudgee College. Now, they will get Brendon Kilpatrick for the fall 2021 season. A good athlete for not only football but basketball as well. He has very good height when it comes to his punts and even better distance. There will be a big-time battle for the punters during fall camp which will be something to see.
Jarin Davis from St. Thomas Aquinas was one of the players that most were looking out for during his four years playing for them. Davis in his career has 14 total tackles (11 of those being single), three interceptions, and two pass deflections.
YSU has never really recruited much outside of Ohio besides some transfers during the past few seasons. Having Davis, an All-County honorable mention, come to Youngstown is a step in the right direction for the program. During his senior season, St. Thomas Aquinas gave Venice a third straight loss in the playoffs as Davis closed out the game with an interception. The team would go on to win their 12th state football championship beating Edgewater 31-21. Let’s just hope that Davis is a fan of the cold here.
Talking about the city of GRIT, one player that comes into the mind is now Cardinal Mooney Cardinal linebacker Michael Pastella. This young athlete can find the hole quickly and stop the running game. He has also caused a few fumbles during the senior 2020 season on both defense and special teams. Back in 2019, Pastella was selected All-Northeast Inland District. There are already a few Mooney Cardinals on the Youngstown State football team, so it will be good to see another perform at one of the highest levels in college football.
Staying with the local area with the final of the Youngstown State signees, there is Chris Sammarone for Canfield. He played both played Linebacker and Wide receiver. In this year’s Division III OHSAA playoff game against Kenston, Sammarone had a great night. He then had a six-yard touchdown run and an 80-yard screen pass for six. Sammarone had 14.5 tackles and rushed for 383 yards on the ground. He was also part of the Valley’s Big 22 contention during the 2020 season. The Penguins will like this man when it comes to clogging up the holes. His father played for YSU back in the championship days of 1992 to 1994. He was inducted into the Penguins Hall of Fame in 2004. His Grandfather played from 1961 to 1964.
Youngstown State is set for their spring season and will head to the FargoDome to take on the defending champion North Dakota State Bison who will be without now quarterback Trey Lance. Kickoff is Sunday, February 21st at 3:30.