YSU adds depth with 2013 group

YOUNGSTOWN – Entering in to his fourth season as the head coach of the Youngstown University Penguins, Eric Wolford knew exactly what he wanted to do with his 2013 recruiting class.

Part one – secure the defensive line. Part two – continue to create depth at every position.

Done and done.

On Wednesday, Wolford announced the 2013 recruiting class on the first official day of the signing period. The class consists of 22 players – 12 on the defense, seven on offense, two on special teams and one athlete.

“This recruiting class is going to give us a chance to be in a situation where we can expect to reload,” Wolford said. “We shouldn’t see a significant drop off in talent. Last year, we were able to red shirt 10 players, which was the first year we were able to do that since I’ve been here, and a portion of guys here we will be able to red shirt.”

Phase one of the recruiting project was done early on, as Wolford was able to sign four defensive linemen during the early signing period. All four are currently enrolled at YSU and will be eligible to participate in spring practice.

The player that jumps off the page in the group is defensive tackle Octavius Brown. The junior college transfer listed as 6-foot, 275 pounds from Georgia Military Academy, recorded 36 tackles as an interior lineman and appeared very explosive off the line during the highlight reel shown to the media members.

“He’s probably one of the guys that has a chance to make the biggest impact on our football team,” Wolford said. “Bert (Williams, Brown’s former coach) told me he’s the most disruptive, most powerful football player, interior defensive lineman, that’s he’s had in 12 years. So, we set the bar high for him.”

Offensively, the player that made the biggest impact to the room was quarterback Ricky Davis. The incoming freshman (6-3, 200) is a dual threat as a running and passing quarterback. At Middletown High School, he passed for 1,313 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also rushed for 412 yards and five scores.

Though the Penguins signed a quarterback, it does not mean there’s going to be a quarterback controversy at YSU with senior starter Kurt Hess. Even though last season’s backup quarterback Patrick Angle transferred after the season, Davis will battle for the backup roll with Dante Nania.

Locally, the Penguins picked up two players – Brookfield’s Ryan Mosora and Connor McFadden of Poland.

Recruited by YSU as an athlete, Mosora brings many weapons to the Penguins. At Brookfield, Mosora was second in the county in total rushing yards, putting up 1,704 yards in 10 games and scoring 20 touchdowns. He averaged an astounding 10.4 yards per carry. He also had 11 receptions for 212 yards out of the backfield. He was a first-team All-District selection and was a second-team All-Ohio selection.

“We (my family and I) just decided that YSU was going to be a good fit,” Mosora said. “I’ve been going to camps there ever since I was younger. I grew to like the facility and like I said, it’s just going to be a great fit for me.”

McFadden’s family is well known at YSU. Connor’s father, Paul, was a kicker for YSU from 1980-83. His mother, Dianne (Rappach), was a basketball player for the Penguins from 1988-92. Now Connor will continue the family tradition.

“I was looking at a few other schools … but I’ve always loved YSU, and the atmosphere there, that’s why I chose to go there,” Connor said.

The early signees and the rest of the Penguins will begin spring practice on March 19, concluding with the annual spring game on Friday night, April 19.