Still unsigned: Youngstown State coach Eric Wolford has not signed a contract extension and enters training camp on the final year of his original five-year deal. YSU athletic director Ron Strollo told The Vindicator in early January that the sides had come to an agreement and, in March, YSU officials revealed it would be a two-year extension that would keep Wolford in Youngstown through the 2016 season. Strollo said in an email on Friday that he expects Wolford to sign the extension soon. “Just need the lawyers to get a final document put together,” he said. YSU has said the delay was due to the departure of former president Randy Dunn and the hiring of new president Jim Tressel. On Friday, Wolford confirmed the verbal agreement from January and said, “I feel good about where that’s at. I don’t have any concerns about where my contract is. We’re just excited to be at Youngstown State.”
Notable departures: YSU had 13 players leave the program since spring practice — a fairly typical number since several were walk-ons or partial scholarship players. The biggest loss was senior DE Vince Coleman, who started the spring game but left the team in mid-July due to family issues. Coleman is originally from California but his family recently moved to Las Vegas. “It’s a sad story and I don’t want to necessarily ever divulge anyone’s personal information, but he had to go home and take care of his family,” Wolford said. “The last conversation I had with him, he was on a boat in Alaska working. When you’re the man of the house, you’ve got to do those things.” Also gone is junior WR Marcel Caver, who was fourth on the team in receptions (21) and second in yards (393) last season. He was a two-year letterman. “Marcel had a hard time balancing football and school and he decided he wanted to go to another school,” Wolford said. “We wished him well. We understand those things happen.”
Other departures: Other notable defections include tight end Terry Johnson, a two-time letterman who changed positions in the spring, and safety Parnell Taylor, a three-year letterwinner who started his career at running back. The other departures are WR Derrick Burgess, QB Ashton Owens, PK Justin Evans, OG Jacob Griffith, CB Kevin Cylar, CB Jailyn Moore, FS Grant Mercer and DE Chavien Nolcox.
New transfers: The Penguins added four FBS transfers in junior CB Kenneth Durden (South Florida), sophomore LB LaRon Taylor (Iowa), sophomore CB Nate Dortch (Miami, Fla.) and redshirt freshman OT Cameron Fraser (Louisville). Also, sophomore CB David Rivers, who played in 10 games last fall but left the Penguins before spring practice, is back with the team. “He decided he wants to go to school and do things the right way, so it’s good to have him back out there,” Wolford said.
Practice pickoffs: YSU’s first practice lasted about two hours and 15 minutes and featured five interceptions. “The corners made a bunch of plays,” Wolford said. “That’s a good thing. Those guys [QBs] better get the ball out quick or they’re going to jump it.”
Disher decision: Senior TE Kintrell Disher, who is still recovering from a torn ACL, missed the second half of practice while icing his knee. Wolford said the team will make a decision on whether to redshirt him at the open week. “If I had to guess right now, it’s probably 50-50,” he said. Disher (6-4, 225) played two years at wide receiver and played five games at tight end last fall before injuring his knee.