By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown State University football coach Jon Heacock completed his first full recruiting season, and he's pleased with what looks like a super crop of athletes.
Today is the official date for high school athletes to sign national letters of intent. Heacock is hoping that when the day is over he'll have between 18 and 20 players in the fold.
"Overall it went pretty well," Heacock said Tuesday. "We appear to have a good mix of freshmen and junior college transfers.
"There is a lot of speed in this group -- many have been track stars in high school also," Heacock added. "We've got some local kids on the list along with some Florida kids and others from the state."
Hopeful: Heacock said that he's hopeful that the junior college transfers will work out.
"Usually they come in here out of shape and it takes them a while to get settled in, but I think we have some good ones," he said.
One of those transfers, Tim Frost, is already in school at YSU and will be taking part in spring drills, which get underway on March 20. Three other junior college transfers will also be here for spring ball.
Frost played his high school football at East High until the school closed and finished his senior season at Ursuline. He had been at West Virginia University the past three years. The 6-foot-4, 265-pound performer is being projected as a defensive lineman for the Penguins.
All-league: Scott Theissen, another transfer who comes from Modesto Junior College, is a 6-2, 190-pound free safety. He was a first-team all-conference selection after recording 80 tackles and was an Academic and Honorable Mention All-American.
Matt Crivello, a 6-2, 195-pound quarterback, comes to the Penguins from Cabrillo Junior College, where he completed 107-of-201 passes for 1,160 yards last season, with seven touchdowns and six interceptions in nine games.
The final junior college prospect is offensive lineman Will Sanders from West Hills Junior College in Alabama. The 6-1, 286-pound player was a unanimous all-conference selection last season as a center.
Area players: The Penguins have four other area players on their recruiting list, three of them verbally committing early to YSU.
They include Warren JFK's talented running back and defensive back Josh Cayson, Newton Falls' Marty Hutchinson, who is being recruited as a linebacker; Max King, a 6-2, 223-pound tight end from Champion High School; and punter/place kicker Joe Bishop from Louisville's St. Thomas Aquinas High.
Heacock is optimistic that most of the players will sign with the Penguins.
"But until their names are on that letter, you never know," he said.