Girard QB Waid picks YSU

All-Ohio Girard QB will join Youngstown State family

By Brian Dzenis

Mark Waid got a taste of Stambaugh Stadium this fall and decided he wants to come back for more.

The Girard quarterback has committed to playing football at Youngstown State, the senior confirmed Wednesday night. He made his Stambaugh debut on Nov. 3 in a 34-30 playoff win against East.

He entered the season committed to Fordham, but ultimately decided it was best to stay home.

“I have nothing but respect for Fordham, it’s a great university, but it didn’t feel like home,” Waid said. “When we played East and I got on the field, I got the chills. I just felt like this is where I’m supposed to be.

“It’s special to do this for the Valley and this community with great people and great coaches. It just feels like home.”

Waid, Ohio’s third all-time leader in passing yards, is coming off a 13-2 season with the school’s first appearance in the Division IV state finals, a 42-14 defeat to Cincinnati Wyoming.

Waid will graduate early, enroll at YSU and be able to participate in spring practice. He’ll be reunited with longtime receiver Michael Belcik as well as some of his opponents.

“[Belcik] played a big role, he’s been sending me texts. I have some familiarity with the players and that really helped,” Waid said. “There’s great local talent on the team right with Belcik, [Liberty’s] Dra Rushton and [Warren JFK’s] Jake Coates. It’s a special thing.”

He didn’t express any misgivings about head coach Bo Pelini’s contract status, as his current deal expires in February, saying that “coach Pelini will do what’s best for coach Pelini.”

“[QBs coach Joe Ganz, wide receivers coach Tim Marlowe and offensive coordinator Brian Crist] have a special thing brewing and it’s an offense I see myself in and more importantly, it’s a community I see myself in,” Waid said. “I couldn’t be more excited about my decision.

If he makes it on the field in 2019 with Pelini as the head coach, it will be the first time a true freshman quarterback played under Pelini since Cody Green in 2009 at Nebraska.

Waid passed for 4,376 yards and 48 touchdowns in his final season at Girard. He also rushed for 1,776 yards and 26 TDs.

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