Penguins Meet With Media; Take the Field For Warm First Practice

YSU Football practice
YSU Football practice

The Youngstown State football team visited with the local media in the morning before hitting the warm Stambaugh Stadium turf for their first place of the fall later in the afternoon on Friday.

An eager group of nearly 95 players took to the turf around 4 p.m. in helmets. In a fast-paced two-hour plus practice, the Penguins accomplished a lot on the first day. 

Head Coach Eric Wolford said he was pleased with a lot from Friday's workout, most notably the way the defense stepped up from the get-go.

"I'm really impressed with what I saw on defense today and that's encouraging," he said. "I thought we moved around a lot better on defense primarily in the secondary. I thought our linebackers moved around well. We've got a lot of competition at those positions. Obviously competition creates a sense of urgency and that's what we all want."

In the secondary, YSU welcomed back starters Jeremey Edwards, Josh Garner, Jimmy May, Jr. and Devont'a Davis from last year. Sophomores Donald D'Alesio and Jamarious Boatwright as well as senior Deionte Williams are back following season-ending injuries in 2011. YSU brought in Chris Charles, Julius Childs and Twin Fernandes in January and the three were with the program in the spring. Junior-college transfers Quamane Bryant and Dale Peterman along with USF transfer Ricardo Dixon and freshmen Khlique Harris, Jameel Smith and David Rivers have joined the program as well.

"I was impressed with defensive backs as a group," Wolford said. "We've got better there. They area a different group then what we saw in the spring."

The Penguins spent the first hour on individual drills and after a 10-minute special teams session spent the final 50 minutes in team situations. Edwards made a nice interception off a tipped Patrick Angle pass and the defensive line seemed to step up occasions.

Wolford said still learning to be done and the Penguins will keep continuing to build momentum from here on out.

"It's exciting to be back out. The first thing that shows up is that we're moving around pretty good." 

YSU will work out in helmets again on Saturday afternoon before adding shoulder pads to the mix on Sunday and Monday. The first day of full pads is set for Tuesday.

Season tickets for the 2012 season are on sale now at the YSU Athletic Ticket Office. Call (330) 941-1978 for more information.

UPCOMING PRACTICES (All scheduled for Stambaugh Stadium and subject to change)

Saturday, August 4 - 4 p.m.
Sunday, August 5 - 4 p.m.
Monday, August 6 - 4 p.m.
Tuesday, August 7 - 4 p.m.
Wednesday, August 8 - 9 a.m./5 p.m.
Thursday, August 9 - 10 a.m.
Friday, August 10 - 9 a.m./5 p.m.
Saturday, August 11 - 10 a.m. (SCRIMMAGE)
Monday, August 13 - 9 a.m./ 5 p.m.
Tuesday, August 14 - 10 a.m.
Wednesday, August 15 - 9 a.m./5 p.m.
Thursday, August 16 - 10 a.m.
Friday, August 17 - 10 a.m.
Saturday, August 18 - 10 a.m. (SCRIMMAGE)
Monday, August 20 - 10 a.m.
Tuesday, August 21 - 10 a.m.