Thursday, January 10, 2019
McFadden to become
third member of his
family to kick at YSU
By Brian Dzenis
Like his father and brother before him, Colten McFadden will kick for Youngstown State.
The Poland graduate transferred to YSU after spending the last two seasons at Kent State, the kicker told The Vindicator. He’ll start classes on Monday.
“Coming home is a big thing. To represent Youngstown is something that I always wanted to do and I’m excited for the opportunity thanks to [coach Bo Pelini] and all the coaches,” McFadden said. “It’s an awesome opportunity and it’s something that I’m very thankful for.”
McFadden will be on a partial scholarship with the Penguins, which he said makes things easier for his family financially. That was the original offer he received when he was coming out of Poland.
YSU has always been in his orbit. His father Paul, kicked for the Penguins before playing in the NFL and Colten’s older brother Connor wrapped up his YSU career after the 2017 season. In addition to his family, he also takes pointers from former YSU and Super Bowl-winning kicker Jeff Wilkins.
McFadden handled kickoff duties for the Golden Flashes last year as a redshirt freshman. The highlight of his Kent State tenure was when he recovered his own onside kick attempt during a 63-10 loss to Penn State on Sept. 15, 2018. Video of the kick went viral across social media.
“It was unbelievable experience playing at Penn State in front of [105,000 fans],” McFadden said. “That’s a moment I’ll truly never forget.
“It was a 10-yard dribbler. There was some collisions and a big pile. It was an unbelievable experience and I guess I ended up with the ball,” he said. “I hadn’t been in a pile in years. It was a lot of guys who are bigger than me.”
McFadden’s arrival signals a competition to become the Penguins’ kicker. Zak Kennedy’s graduation left Hudson’s Grant Gonya and Hubbard’s Colin Burdette as the only kickers on the roster. Gonya kicked two field goals of 22 and 33 yards and was 4 for 6 on extra points in his freshman season.
“I’m just fortunate that they’re letting me on the squad. Expectations-wise, I bring some experience from Kent and I can come in and continue to get better every day and just try to keep improving,” McFadden said.
“I want to attack the opportunity and just give it everything I’ve got and we’ll see what happens.”