YOUNGSTOWN - Tymere Dubose stands 6-foot-6, 265 pounds, looks you right in the eye, has a firm handshake. On Wednesday, his outfit consisted of new blue suit, complimented by a new University of Kentucky hat.
The Youngstown Christian High School senior verbally committed to the Wildcats football team 10 months ago. Wednesday, he made that verbal official.
"It's the best thing that happened to me, for real. I feel accomplished. I can't wait to be a Wildcat," Dubose said. "I can't wait to see what they have in store for me. I can't wait to put the pads on."
The defensive tackle, who has only been playing for two years, was a force for the Eagles, said Youngstown Christian's defensive line coach Nick Wagner.
"He's raw," Wagner said. "He's athletic. He's fast. He's got great hips. He can get around a corner in pass rush. He can take on a double team, stop blocks and stop running. Good work ethic. He's a raw, natural talent."
Kentucky assistant coach and Cardinal Mooney graduate Vince Marrow recruited Dubose. Marrow's brother, Brian, is Youngstown Christian's coach. In addition, Kentucky's coach is Mark Stoops, former Florida State defensive coordinator and Cardinal Mooney graduate.
"I think that's what sold him, to have that family-type atmosphere down there," Dubose said.
When Dubose finally plays at Kentucky, he'll play in the nation's best conference - the Southeastern Conference.
"It's a big league," said Dubose, rated as a three-star player by many recruiting websites. "It's full of grown men. You've got to bring it every day - every second, every minute."
GETTING A KICK OUT OF YSU: It didn't happen until Tuesday night, but Austintown Fitch senior Nick Sheely finally came to the decision he would sign with Youngstown State.
Sheely (6-0, 195) will compete for the punter position, which will be vacated by graduating senior and Niles McKinley graduate Nick Liste, who is arguably one of the best punters in the nation.
Sheely averaged around 40 yards a punt this year for the Falcons.
"I know how much of an impact he had for them and I'll slowly try to fill those shoes he left behind," Sheely said. "They're pretty big shoes to fill."
DE-FENSE, DE-FENSE: Fitch senior Ryan Sayers was one of the captains of the Falcons' potent defense that gave up less than 10 points per game.
Wednesday, he signed with the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion Ohio Dominican. The Panthers went 10-1 last season and advanced to the Division II regional semifinals.
Sayers is joining a team that gave up 18 points and allowed 143 yards rushing per outing.
ODU is coached by Bill Conley, who played for Woody Hayes at Ohio State and then coached at OSU for Earle Bruce, John Cooper and Jim Tressel.
Sayers said the feel of the program is like Austintown Fitch, but the best part he likes his the defense, where he'll be playing at LEO - rushing the quarterback's blind side.
"Our defense is nasty. Their defense is the same way," Sayers said. "They both like to blitz a lot and that what I like to do, blitzing."
HOME SWEET HOME: Fitch's Kerrell Johnson didn't need too much time to figure out where he'd be playing college ball.
After a visit to Notre Dame College, he knew this was the right place for him. He stayed in a dorm and got to attend a class with his new teammates.
"I had a better experience there than other schools," Johnson said.
The 5-10, 172 receiver and cornerback won't have a problem adjusting to college ball because of the preparation he had at Fitch.
"I'm used to all the hard running and training in the offseason," he said. "It's not too big of a jump. I have to be ready and hungry."