YSU Adds 11 To Football Program on National Letter-of-Intent Signing Day

Head Coach Bo Pelini
Head Coach Bo Pelini

Head Football Coach Bo Pelini announced on Wednesday that 11 student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Penguins program. Eight signed with YSU on Tuesday while three are currently enrolled for the spring semester.

Joining the program on Tuesday were WR Stefan Derrick II, OL Norman Fox, CB Darius Hall, LB/RB Devon McNutt, P/PK Nate Needham, LB Malachi Newell, RB London Pearson and DL Jamal Smith. The three junior college players who are currently with the program are QB Trent Hosick, C Vitas Hrynkiewicz and CB Billy Nicoe Hurst.

The Penguins open spring drills in mid-March with the annual Red-White Spring Game set for Friday, April 15.


Signed With @YoungstownStFB Today

Stefan Derrick II

6-1 | 190 | Wide Receiver
Long Beach, Calif.
Poly H.S. / Orange Coast College

Orange Coast: As a sophomore, was a Region III All-California Community College selection as a wide receiver...was a first-team Southern California Football Association (SCFA) All-Southern League selection...caught 65 passes for 1,161 yards and 16 touchdowns...all three totals ranked second in a season in school history....averaged 17.9 yards a reception and 105.5 yards a game....caught touchdowns in eight of 11 games...had three touchdown grabs against Los Angeles Pierce...caught a pair of touchdown passes in six contests...had highs of 10 receptions for 202 yards against Cerritos...Pirates were 7-4 and played in the 2015 Beach Bowl...played cornerback as a freshman...had 14 tackles and five pass breakups...coach was Kevin Emerson.

Norman Fox

6-5 | 270 | Offensive Line
Cleveland, Ohio
Garfield Heights H.S.

High School: Played right tackle on offense and was on the defensive line at Garfield Heights...coach was Lance Reisland.


Darius Hall

5-11 | 170 | Cornerback
Smyrna, Ga.
Campbell H.S.

High School: Second-team All-Region 3-AAAAAA selection as a senior...returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown...coach was Ryan Brady.


Devon McNutt

5-11 | 220 | Linebacker
Youngstown, Ohio
Cardinal Mooney H.S.

High School: Played running back and linebacker...as a senior, had 239 yards rushing on 49 attempts and scored three touchdowns...had a team-high 117 tackles as a junior...coach was P.J. Fecko...is the son of YSU secondary coach Richard McNutt.


Nate Needham

6-1 | 175 | Punter/Placekicker
Chesterton, Ind.
Chesterton H.S.

High School: Two-time Indiana Honorable-Mention Class 6A selection as a kicker...tabbed a Mr. Football position award winner for the state as a kicker...named All-DAC (Duneland Athletic Conference)...averaged 40.1 yards per punt on 33 kicks...placed 16 inside the 20-yard line...longest boot was 60 yards...was 10-of-10 on field-goal attempts with a long of 52 yards...had 28 touchbacks on 45 kickoffs...coach was Mark Peterson.

Malachi Newell

6-1 | 195 | Linebacker
Farrell, Pa.
Farrell H.S.

High School: Class A First-Team All-State honoree...WesternPaFootball.net Defensive Player of the Year...Pennsylvania Sports Writers Defensive Player of the Year...Big 22 Finalist...Pennsylvania Preps Golden 33 selection...ranked fourth in nation with 232 total tackles, which led the state...had 16.5 tackles for loss, 13 forced fumbles, four interceptions and 3.5 sacks...rushed for 643 yards and scored 11 touchdowns...had 470 yards receiving and four scores...Farrell won the District 10 Championship and played in the Class A State Championship Game...Steelers were 14-2 on the season falling to Bishop Guillfoyle in the state title game...coach was Jarett Samuels.

London Pearson

5-11 | 165 | Running Back
Pataskala, Ohio
Licking Heights H.S.

High School: First-team All-Ohio Division II selection as a defensive back...also a first-team Division II All-Central Ohio honoree...was named the Licking County League-Buckeye Defensive Back of the Year...was a first-team all-conference and all-metro honoree...caught 33 passes for 457 yards...rushed for 582 yards as well...finished the year with 1,200 all-purpose yards...also had 49 tackles...LC won the league title and finished 10-2 advancing to the Division III Region 5 semifinal...coach was Darren Waters...is the son of YSU running backs coach Pepe Pearson.

Jamal Smith

6-2 | 245 | Defensive Lineman
Hialeah, Fla.
American H.S.

High School: Standout at defensive end...was listed as the 33rd-best high school player in the Miami-Dade area prior to senior season...had a pair of sacks in American's 33-0 District 13-8A victory over Hialeah....brother D'Joun Smith was a third-round draft pick by Indianapolis in 2015.


Enrolled at @youngstownstate in January

Vitas Hrynkiewicz

6-4 | 305 | Center
Somerset, N.J.
Immaculata H.S. / Independence CC

Independence: Honorable-Mention Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference honoree...coach was Steve Carson.
High School: First-team Mid-State All-Watchung Division selection as a senior.


Trent Hosick

6-1 | 225 | Quarterback
Springfield, Mo.
Staley H.S. / Arizona Western CC

Arizona Western: Dual-threat quarterback with two years of eligibility remaining...as a sophomore, played in five games for Arizona Western...started the first three and final two contests...completed 52-of-101 passes for 787 yards and six touchdowns...had a high of 14 completions for 256 yards and three touchdowns against New Mexico Highlands...had 216 yards rushing on 67 attempts and scored twice...best game was a 16-carry, 101-yard, two-touchdown performance against New Mexico Military Institute...in final two games had 32 rushing attempts, including 20 for 58 yards against the College of DuPage...rallied Matadors from 21-3 deficit to beat NMMI in the Western States Football League playoffs...as a freshman, took over the starting duties at midseason...passed for 1,230 yards and 12 touchdowns...added 639 rushing yards with 11 touchdowns....threw for three scores and ran for three more in the WSFL championship game as the Matadors beat Scottsdale 52-27...finished career at Arizona Western 10-2 as a starter and was part of the first class to win back-to-back El Toro Bowls...coach was Tom Minnick.
Missouri (2013): Was a redshirt member of the Tigers' program.
High School: One of 12 national finalists for the Wendy's High School Heisman Award, which honors high school student-athletes for the pursuit of athletic and academic excellence with integrity…ranked as the 19th-best dual-threat quarterback by Rivals.com…considered the No. 35 pocket passer in the country by ESPN.com...rated as the sixth-best recruit in the state of Missouri by Rivals.com...a finalist for the Simone Award, given annually to the top prep player in the Kansas City metro area...also a finalist for Gatorade's Missouri Player of the Year...represented Team USA at the IFAF World Championships...honored to first team All-State teams by the Missouri Football Coaches Association and Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association...passed for 1,882 yards and 14 touchdowns while rushing for 1,609 yards and 18 scores on the ground as a senior in 2012...led Staley to the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 5 State Championship with an undefeated 14-0 season as a junior in 2011...rushed for four touchdowns in the championship game vs. Kirkwood High School, leading Staley to a 35-21 victory...took the Falcons back to the state tournament in 2012, advancing to the quarterfinals...passed for 1,406 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for 2,096 yards and 32 touchdowns as a junior in 2011...coach was Fred Bouchard...was also an accomplished wrestler having claimed the Class 3 heavyweight title after a perfect 29-0 campaign as a junior in 2012.

Billy Nicoe Hurst

6-0 | 190 | Defensive Back
San Pablo, Calif.
Vanden H.S. / Contra Costa CC

High School: A Northern California American Division Pacific 7 League selection on defense...had 44 tackles and three interceptions as a sophomore...coach was Alonzo Carter.