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Wolford goes coast to coast for YSU recruits



Published: Thu, February 7, 2013 @ 12:10 a.m.

photo

Brookfield senior Ryan Mosora, shown here during a game against Edgewood this season, was one of two area players to sign with YSU on Wednesday. Kicker Connor McFadden is also headed to YSU.

By Joe Scalzo

scalzo@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

When it comes to Youngstown State’s football recruiting, the “State of Youngstown” has taken a back seat to the states of Florida, California and Pennsylvania.

Eric Wolford’s fourth recruiting class includes six players from Ohio, including two from the Mahoning Valley, but it also has five players from Florida, three from California and three from the Carolinas.

“I don’t get caught up in where a guy is from,” said Wolford, who is 16-17 in three seasons, including a 7-4 mark last fall. “I like a lot of guys, but sometimes I can’t get them. So you’ve got to recruit nationally. You got to get the best player available.

“We recruit coast to coast.”

While Wolford targeted some of the Valley’s best players early on — he said he was the first college coach to offer a scholarship to Fitch’s Billy Price, who signed with Ohio State — he said it’s gotten more difficult to find overlooked players in Ohio thanks to scouting services like Mark Porter’s ScoutingOhio.com.

That’s a problem for an FCS school like YSU, which has to compete with Ohio’s eight FBS programs. (Nationwide, only Texas has more FBS schools, with 10.)

While Jim Tressel often focused on northeast Ohio when recruiting championship teams in the 1990s, Wolford has increasingly looked elsewhere, focusing on Pennsylvania and overlooked areas of Florida and the Carolinas.

“That’s where you have to find players,” Wolford said. “It’s not easy to do. It takes work. When I come home, the dog barks at me like it doesn’t know who I am.

“But it pays off.”

Six of Wolford’s 22 recruits are already enrolled, including five junior college recruits. The class is heavy on defense, with six defensive linemen, three linebackers and three defensive backs. Four of the defensive linemen were junior college transfers.

“There were two phases [in our approach],” said Wolford, who lost four starting defensive linemen to graduation. “At the mid-year signing date, I said I wanted to get our defensive line squared away and we did that. You win a lot of games up front.

“The second phase was continue to get some depth. When you have your program up and rolling, you want to be able to redshirt some guys so you’ll be able to let them develop, You shouldn’t have to play freshmen and sophomores.”

Poland kicker Connor McFadden, the son of former YSU and NFL kicker Paul McFadden, and Brookfield’s Ryan Mosora are the lone area recruits.

Both are likely to redshirt.

Mosora was recruited as an “athlete,” having played running back, wide receiver and defensive back in high school.

“Right now I told Ryan, you need to come in here and play special teams and be an impact player there and let’s see and watch your body grow and develop and see where you are in a year or two as far as pinning down a position,” said Wolford, a Brookfield native who played his senior year at Ursuline.

Mosora, who ran for more than 4,000 yards and scored 50 touchdowns his last two years, said YSU started showing interest in the spring. He’s been attending YSU’s summer camps since he was a freshman.

“I was kind of set on them from the beginning,” Mosora said. “I feel like it’s a good fit for me.

“I don’t think being a local guy gives me any advantage. It’s just going to be about whoever comes in there and works harder and plays the best.”

Last year’s recruiting class of 19 featured just one area player, Mooney defensive lineman Austin Trgovcich, who has already left the program. Two other 2013 recruits have also left: freshman defensive lineman Anthony Szymczak and junior safety Chris Charles.

Also, quarterback Patrick Angle, who would have been a junior in the fall, left the program after backing up Kurt Hess the past two years. With Dante Nania switching from quarterback to safety in the spring, that left just two quarterbacks on the roster: Hess and redshirt freshman Nick Wargo. So the Penguins added freshman Ricky Davis, a 6-3, 200-pounder from Middletown, Ohio.

A Youngstown State source confirmed that the school is interested in former Mooney running back Braylon Heard, who will leave Nebraska after the spring semester, but several sources said Heard is leaning heavily toward transferring to Pitt, where he could play with former classmate Ray Vinopal, who plays safety for the Panthers.


Comments

1theguins(169 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

Yes, times have changed but Dike Beede knew where to find football players. Bill Narduzzi continued the same tradition, Jim Tressel as well. Heacock lost sight of local talent and subsequently was replaced by you (Coach Wolf) and you have totally turned away from some of the finest players available. No local players, no local fan base, your time is running out! You can at least say you beat Pitt!

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2theguins(169 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

...and to continue. You mean to tell me between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Canton and Erie, Pa.. There are not at least 10 quality football players who would not have accepted a scholarship to YSU???

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3Dagwood(111 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

The only reason I went to games in the late 80s through the entire 90s was because it was like watching a local "All-Star" team. The best from the Valley, Warren, W. PA with some out of staters sprinkled in. Communities coming togther on Saturdays to cheer on their sons. Wofford is full of BS when it comes to recruiting sites. Those sites make his job easier, and so does the internet. You literally can can watch film on any player you want whenever you want for free. Not to mention youtube and social media has made communication to prospects easier as well. Its just an excuse for being called out on not wanting/pursuing local talent. YSU should be a presence in every HS in NE OH and Western PA. Its great football, tough football, tough kids. You wont get the great players but you got a shot at the good ones, and the good ones in this area would be considered GREAT in the places your currently looking.

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4jeratboy(127 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

What kids in that area do you have in mind? I see kids going 1A( i refuse to use fcs) or Div 2 and 3.

No kid would turn down the worst 1A program for YSU. That program may be in a bowl or even major bowl in 4 years. The best YSU can do is the championship game with their 22,000 fans and no name announcers.

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5TonyRizzo(82 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

Good Luck to all the new YSU Football recruits!
Go Guins!

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6YtownPens(2 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

Talent in the area is very weak. I agree Wolford needs to win asap but he cannot do it with local talent. It doesn't exist.

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