YSU notebook

YSU notebook

Zordich improving: After tearing his ACL in Carolina’s first preseason game last summer, Cardinal Mooney High graduate Michael Zordich is participating in Organized Team Activities with the Panthers, although he’s not yet at full strength, his father, Mike, said. “The great thing about it was they kept him all year,” said the elder Zordich, YSU’s safeties coach who played 12 seasons in the NFL. “The coach came to him at halftime [of the preseason game] and said, ‘Listen, Michael, you’re not going anywhere. You’re ours and we like how things are going.’ He rehabbed there all year and now he’s there for OTAs, doing some things on the field. Not a whole lot. He’s just trying to be careful with his cutting.” Zordich signed with the Panthers as an undrafted free agent fullback last April.

NFL hopefuls: Youngstown State has four prospects who are hoping to catch on with NFL teams this weekend — offensive linemen Chris Elkins and Kyle Bryant, quarterback Kurt Hess and punter Nick Liste — and Penguins coach Eric Wolford said several teams have contacted them. “It’s going to be interesting to see how it unfolds,” Wolford said. “When you talk about the NFL, it’s a tough roster to crack. There’s 90 guys in these training camps and they’re basically cutting those teams in half.” Wolford, a four-year starter at guard for Kansas State, got a brief tryout with the then-Phoenix Cardinals before started his coaching career. He said those experiences allow players to move forward with their post-football lives. “If you were a good player and maybe didn’t get a shot, you always kind of have second thoughts about whether you were good enough [to play in the NFL].”

More Tressel praise: Mike Zordich, a Chaney High graduate who played at Penn State, said he was excited when YSU hired Jim Tressel as its new president. “I was keeping my fingers crossed the whole way through when I heard that he was in the running,” he said. “I think he’s going to be great addition, just as he was the first time at Youngstown and I think he’s just going to take it to greater levels. I think the city is in a rebound and I think that will be a great shot in the arm.” YSU offensive coordinator Shane Montgomery agreed. “Obviously, this place has a special place in his heart and he should rally the community around YSU even more,” Montgomery said. When asked if he thinks Tressel will tell him to run his quarterback more, Montgomery laughed and said, “We’re planning on that anyway. He can say whatever he wants. I just hope it works.”

Joe Scalzo

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