Published March 23, 2014
Here is my position-by-position look at YSU’s roster heading into spring practice. Departed players have used up eligibility, unless noted:
Who’s gone: Kurt Hess.
Who’s back: Senior Dante Nania, sophomore Tanner Garry, sophomore Nick Wargo, redshirt freshman Ricky Davis.
Scouting report: For the first time since 2010, there is uncertainty at this position. Nania (21 attempts) and Garry (10) are the only ones who have thrown a collegiate pass and neither has looked like a future standout in practice or in games. Davis is the talented wild card, but he spent all of last season on the practice squad. Is the fall starter on the current roster? YSU will use this spring to find out.
Who’s gone: Torrian Pace, Adaris Bellamy, John Medina (left team)
Who’s back: Senior Parnell Taylor (sitting out spring - injured), junior Demond Hymes, sophomore Jody Webb, sophomore Martin Ruiz, redshirt freshman Ryan Mosora, redshirt freshman Edmund Jacobs.
Who’s new: Freshman Ryan Moore, freshman Sidney Sandidge.
Scouting report: The deepest and most talented group on YSU’s roster. Ruiz ran for 1,100 yards and 15 TDs last fall, rewriting YSU’s freshman record book. Webb is a hold-your-breath blend of speed, vision and balance. Injuries robbed Hymes of his starting job last fall but he could start for half the conference. Moore and Sandidge were 2014 recruits who enrolled in January.
Who’s gone: Carson Sharbaugh, Corey Henry (left team).
Who’s back: Senior Nate Adams, senior Kintrell Disher (sitting out spring - injured), sophomore Jacob Wood.
Who’s new: freshman Kevin Rader.
Scouting report: Sharbaugh played a lot of fullback last fall, so this unit returns pretty much intact. Adams is an underrated weapon as a receiver and Disher was starting to live up to his considerable potential before tearing his ACL at midseason. Wood was too good to redshirt last year and has breakout potential this fall.
Who’s gone: Kevin Watts, Justin Getz (left team).
Who’s back: Senior Jelani Berassa, senior Christian Bryan, junior Andre Stubbs, junior Andrew Williams, junior Michael Wheary, junior Marcel Caver, junior Edward Killingsworth, redshirt freshman Derrick Burgess, redshirt freshman Anthony Marchionda, redshirt freshman Brad Good.
Scouting report: Stubbs had more than 1,000 yards between receptions, rushes and kick returns, but there’s not a clear-cut No. 1. Still, it’s a position of strength.
Who’s gone: C Chris Elkins, G Fred Herdman, T Kyle Bryant, T Andrew Sinko, C Mason Giacomelli (left team), G Dylan Greenberg.
Who’s back: Senior G Dana Harris, senior C Stephen Page, junior T Trevor Strickland, sophomore G Brock Eisenhuth, sophomore T Christian Wilson, sophomore T Dylan Colucci, sophomore G Matt Bell, sophomore G Jim Bertovich, redshirt freshman G Anthony Parente, redshirt freshman T Justin Spencer, redshirt freshman G Cole Newsome, redshirt freshman G Jacob Griffith.
Scouting report: Elkins, Herdman and Sinko started every game and Bryant started all but two, so this unit is losing a lot of experience. But YSU’s coaches are bullish on the younger players’ potential. Eisenhuth (who started the first eight games before getting hurt) and Strickland (five starts at two tackle spots) saw significant action last fall and will be counted on to provide leadership.
Who’s gone: DT D.J. Moss, DE Kyle Sirl.
Who’s back: Senior DT Octavius Brown, senior DE Vince Coleman, senior DE Desmond Williams, junior DT Emmanuel Kromah, junior DT Steve Zaborsky, junior DE Eric Myers, junior DE Terrell Williams, sophomore DT Joshmere Dawson, sophomore DE Chavien Nolcox, sophomore DE Derek Rivers, sophomore DT Rickey Hagood II, redshirt freshman DE DaShawn Scott, redshirt freshman DE Fazson Chapman.
Scouting report: Sirl was the most productive player on an underachieving unit last fall. With most players returning, YSU’s coaches are hoping for more production this fall.
Who’s gone: Ali Cheaib, Dom Rich, Teven Williams (kicked off team).
Who’s back: Senior Travis Williams, junior Kevon Caffey, junior Dubem Nwadiogbu, junior Terry Johnson, sophomore Jaylin Kelly, sophomore B.J. Welch, sophomore Tyler Carter, sophomore Antoine Cox, redshirt freshman Cole Kochman, redshirt freshman Rhamir Thomas, redshirt freshman Mike Palumbo.
Scouting report: Losing Teven Williams hurts — he led the team in tackles each of the last three years — but Travis Williams has 28 career starts and Caffey started six games last fall, so there’s experience here. Kelly will get the first shot at replacing Teven.
Who’s gone: CB Dale Peterman, S Josh Garner, CB DeVon McKoy (left team), CB David Rivers (left team), SS Derek Sulick (left team), CB Jamarious Boatwright (quit — injury).
Who’s back: Senior CB Julius Childs, senior S Donald D’Alesio (sitting out spring with shoulder injury), junior S Tre’ Moore, sophomore CB Deion Hall, sophomore S Jameel Smith, sophomore S Kenny Bishop, sophomore CB Eric Thompson, redshirt freshman FS Grant Mercer, redshirt freshman CB Damarius Brinson Jr., redshirt freshman Kevin Cylar, redshirt freshman Ian Banks-Tillman.
Scouting report: Losing Peterman hurts — he may have been the team’s best defensive player last fall — but, honestly, when you give up as many passing yards as the Penguins did last fall, that’s not your biggest problem. D’Alesio will sit out the spring after having shoulder surgery, which gives YSU a chance to build some depth and look at some of the younger guys.
Who’s gone: P Nick Liste
Who’s back: Senior K Joey Cejudo, senior LS Nathan Gibbs, redshirt freshman K Connor McFadden.
Scouting report: Cejudo will handle punting and kicking this spring. Jamie Bryant turned this unit into one the league’s best last fall, but switched to defensive coordinator in the offseason. Safeties coach Mike Zordich and WR coach Kenny Carter will try to maintain the high standard.