Penguins Put on Full Pads For First Time; Effort Impresses Wolford

Andrew Williams and Jamarious Boatwright
Andrew Williams and Jamarious Boatwright

The Youngstown State football team put on full pads for the first time this fall at Stambaugh Stadium on Monday afternoon. YSU worked out for more than two hours on a fall-like day at the stadium.

YSU had a very workman-like effort throughout the practice. The Penguins spent the first hour on individual drills before spending nearly 15 minutes on punt coverages and protections. Senior punter Nick Liste crushed his fair share of punts during the drill and Nathan Gibbs was perfect on his snaps as the unit worked to sort out its protection schemes.

The final 25 minutes of the workout were spent in the team period following some 7-on-7 and offensive vs. defensive line one-on-one work.

On the first play with the No. 1 offense against the No. 1 defense, tailback Demond Hymes bounced a run outside for a big gain which ended with a big collision with strong safety Donald D'Alesio

A few series later, reserve quarterback Nick Wargo connected with freshman tailback Martin Ruiz for a good gain. Kurt Hess found Michael Wheary during the drill and Hymes had another nifty run.

Hess connected with wide receiver Marcel Caver on a pass along the sidelines as well. Late in the workout Hess kept spreading the wealth finding Andrew Williams for a 20-plus yard pickup.

Freshman tailback Jody Webb showed his potential with a run down the sidelines for a 30-plus yard pickup.

Head Coach Eric Wolford was pleased with the all-around effort of the offense, defense and special teams. Some things that encouraged Wolford were the the running backs and that the defense has moved around well.

Freshman linebacker Jaylin Kelly has impressed moving into the No. 2 MIKE linebacker spot behind junior Teven Williams. Redshirt freshman cornerback David Rivers saw time with the No. 1 defense as well opposite Julius Childs.

On offense, freshman tight end Jacob Wood has jumped into the mix behind senior Carson Sharbaugh and junior Nate Adams

Wolford said he is looking for more consistency from the back-up quarterback position. All the reserves had shined at times and showed they still need work at others.

One thing that has pleased the fourth-year coach is team chemistry so far and he sees signs of this becoming a tight-knit team.

The Penguins have the first two-a-day session of the fall on Tuesday. YSU practices at 9 a.m. before returning for a 5 p.m. workout.