The Youngstown State football team went through its first workout of the spring on Saturday morning at Stambaugh Stadium. The Guins practiced for a little over two hours on a chilly day at the Ice Castle.
The quarterbacks were the main focus of the workout with the departure of four-year starter Kurt Hess. Ricky Davis and Dante Nania saw the majority of the snaps with the top unit, while Nick Wargo and Tanner Garry also had plenty of reps. Head Coach Eric Wolford said he likes the strong arms and running ability of all four quarterbacks. Wolford said this spring will be key in finding out who can manage a game better out of the group.
Wide receiver Jelani Berassa is back for a sixth year. He joined the program in 2009, but knee injuries forced him to miss the 2010 and 2012 campaigns. The NCAA granted him a rare sixth season of eligibility in the offseason. Berassa seemed to be a go-to target for all four quarterbacks at some point during the workout.
The starting offensive line featured Dana Harris, Brock Eisenhuth, Stephen Page, Dylan Colucci and Trevor Strickland. Wolford said redshirt freshman Anthony Parente also saw some action at center during the workout. Eisenhuth is the lone returning full-time starter from last year while Strickland did start five games. Page and Harris are the lone seniors of the group. YSU started four seniors for most of the 2013 campaign.
On defense, linebackers Jaylin Kelly, Kevon Caffey and Travis Williams all saw snaps on the first unit. Kelly, a sophomore, is working at the No. 1 MIKE linebacker this spring. The Penguins return three of four starters from last year's defensive line in Terrell Williams, Steve Zaborsky and Emmanuel Kromah.
Of note, Wolford said the Penguins are playing with a different football from in the past. The ball YSU is using this spring is smaller from in the past he explained.
YSU will hold its second practice of the spring on Tuesday afternoon. The Red-White Spring Game is set for Friday, April 25.