Youngstown State Head Football Coach Eric Wolford announced on Wednesday the addition of five student-athletes who have signed National Letters of Intent to join Penguins' program. All five will join the program in January.
YSU's mid-year signees include DT Octavius Brown (Georgia Military Academy), P/PK Joey Cejudo (Mt. San Antonio College), DE Vince Coleman (Orange Coast College), DE Nate Cox (Santa Ana College) and DE Derek Rivers (Fork Union Military Academy).
Cox, Coleman and Cejudo all played in the Southern California Football Association. In 2012, Cox and Coleman combined for 15 sacks as both earned all-conference honors.
Cox began his junior-college career after spending five years in the United State Marine Corps. As a sargeant he served five months in a Afghanistan before joining the the Santa Ana program.
The Penguins worked hard to add some size and experience on the defensive line. Departing from the 2012 squad are starters Josh Fenderson, Aronde Stanton, Nick DeKraker and Luis Quinones. Cejudo, who was a high-school teammate of long snapper Nathan Gibbs, brings some solid all-around credentials in as a specialist.
The spring semester at YSU begins on Jan. 14 while National Signing Day is set for Feb. 6. Coach Wolford will address the entire class on the afternoon of Feb. 6.
YSU finished the 2012 season with a 7-4 overall record. The Penguins opened the campaign with four consecutive victories, including a win at Pittsburgh in the season opener. YSU ended the season on an impressive three-game winning streak.
The signee biographies are listed below in alphabetical order:
6-0 | 275 | Junior
Strom Thurmond/Georgia Military Academy
Georgia Military Academy: Finished with 36 total tackles as an interior lineman...credited with 27 solo stops and nine assisted tackles...had a season-high seven stops against Hargrave Military Academy...had six stops vs. Snow...Bulldogs lost 30-23 to Navarro in the 2012 Heart of Texas Bowl...was a two-year starter...coach was Bert Williams.
High School: Was the 2010 Region III Defensive Player of the Year...named to the South Carolina Football Coaches Association Palmetto Champions All-Star Team for Class AAA Lower State...served as a defensive stopper up the middle for a stingy Strom Thurmond defense that allowed just 11.6 points per game as a senior...credited with 17 tackles for loss as a senior...had a standout performance in the Shrine Bowl leading South Carolina to a 42-10 win over North Carolina...started at nose guard for the Sandlappers and had three hurries, three tackles a sack and a key forced fumble...was the first Strom Thurmond player to be selected for Shrine Bowl since 2005 and just 14th in school history (dating back to 1962)...was a three-year starter for the Rebels...was a three-time Region 3-2A all-region pick and made WJBF/Augusta Chronicle All--Area team on two occasions...coach was Lee Sawyer...also competed in track and field.
6-3 | 205 | Junior
Chino Hills, Calif.
Chino Hills H.S./Mt. San Antonio College (2012)/Chaffey College (2011)
Mt. SAC: As a sophomore booted 47 punts for an average of 36.7 yards per kick...placed 15 inside oppositions 20-yard line and had a long of 55...was 21-of-22 on PAT kicks and converted three field goals...Mt. SAC was 11-1 with lone loss coming in Southern California Championship Game to Bakersfield (30-21)...coach was Bob Jastrab...ranked 14th in the country for the specialist class of 2013 by chrissailerkicking.com.
Chaffey: Played for the Panthers in 2011...was an All-Central West Conference selection...as a freshman, was a second-team all-conference selection...converted 9-of-14 field-goal attempts with a long of 46...the 46-yarder came in overtime as the Mounties beat L.A. Harbor in 2011...made three of five attempts in the game against L.A. Harbor...made a 42-yard kick against Anelope Valley...had two attempts of 50-plus yards...was 26-of-28 on PATs...coach was Carl Beach.
High School: As a senior, was a first-team All-Sierra League selection...Chino Hills won two league championships and reached the CIF semifinals...coach was Derek Bub.
6-3 | 235 | Junior
Seal Beach, Calif.
Long Beach Poly H.S./Orange Coast College
Orange Coast: Was a second-team Southern California Football Association National Division Southern Conference selection...had 61 tackles in nine games...credited with 31 solos and 30 assists...had a team-high 8.5 sacks for 41 yards in losses...had 15.5 tackles for loss...had a fumble recovery...credited with a sack in six of nine games...posted a season-high 13 tackles against Moorpark...had 11 at Pasadena and 10 against Santa Ana...had 3.5 tackles for losses on three occasions...played in all 10 games as a freshman...credited with 29 total tackles...had 3.5 sacks and 5.5 TFLs...also tallied four quarterback hurries...coach was Mike Taylor.
High School: Was a second-team All-Moore League pick on defense...had 33 total tackles and five sacks as a senior...was a three-year letterwinner...set the school sack record...Jackrabbits were a three-team conference champion...Poly was 8-3 in 2010...coach was Raul Lara...also lettered in baseball and basketball.
6-3 | 255 | Junior
Plainfield H.S./Santa Ana College
Santa Ana: Was a first-team Southern California Football Association National Division Southern Conference selection...finished with 51 tackles as a sophomore...credited with 28 solo stops and 23 assisted tackles in 10 games played...had a team-high 6.5 sacks for 35 yards in losses...had 8.5 tackles for loss...blocked a kick...had a season-best eight tackles at Palomar...credited with seven stops at Orange Coast...had a season-best six solo tackles vs. Bakersfield...Dons were 8-3 and defeated Canyons 24-21 in the Southern California Bowl...as a freshman appeared in eight contests...credited with 34 total tackles, including 13 solo stops...had three TFLs, one sack, five quarterback hurries, two pass breakups a forced fumble and a fumble recovery...coach was Geoff Jones.
High School: Graduated from Plainfield High School in 2005...Was a three-year letterwinner as a defensive end...named all-conference and Defensive Most Valuable Player as a senior year...team won Conference title.
Personal: Was a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps before attending junior college...served five months in Afghanistan...is 26 years old.
6-4 | 230 | Freshman
Kinston H.S./Fork Union Military Academy
Fork Union: Was a standout on the defensive line in the fall of 2012...played defensive end...coach was John Shuman.
High School: Played linebacker and tight end at Kinston...was an all-conference selection on defense...Kinston advanced to NCHSAA 2A State Championship Game during senior season...lost to West Stokes in the finals, 21-14...coach was Nick Anderson...also played basketball...as a senior, Vikings were 26-4 winning the NCHSAA 2A Championship by defeating Waxhaw Cuthbertson 58-55 in the finals.