Penguins Announce Early Football Signees

Head Coach Bo Pelini
Head Coach Bo Pelini

Listed below are biography sketches on players who signed National Letters of Intent with the Youngstown State football program. Additional bios will be added as the Penguins add signees over the next few days.

Signed With @YoungstownStFB During December Early Period

Dontae Cilenti

6-1 | 280 | Defensive Tackle
Lakewood, Ohio
St. Edward's High School

High School: Second-team Division I All-Northeast Lakes District selection as a senior…in 2017, St. Ed's was 10-2 advancing to the Region 1 semifinals…St. Ed's went 9-3 in 2016 advancing to the Division I quarterfinals (Region 1 finals)…coach was Tom Lombardo.

DeMarko Craig Jr.

6-1 | 275 | Defensive Tackle
Toledo, Ohio
Central Catholic High School

High School: Named the Three Rivers Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and the Division III All-Northwest Ohio District Lineman of the Year…was a first-team OPSWA All-Ohio selection…fought through injury to record 79 tackles, including 17 TFLs, and added 11 sacks as a defensive end…was a key element in Central's 11-3 record and advancement to a fourth straight D-III state playoff semifinal, helping the Irish to two shutouts in three postseason games on the way…Central lost to eventual State Champion Trotwood-Madison in the semis…as a junior was a Division III second-team All-Northwest Ohio District selection…coach was Greg Dempsey.

Jayden Cunningham

6-1 | 190 | Quarterback
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
University School

High School: First-team Division III All-Ohio selection at quarterback as a senior…in 2017, completed 142-of-265 passes for 2,314 yards and 21 touchdowns…had 397 yards rushing and three scores…the Preppers were 7-4 and advanced to the Division III playoffs in 2017…was named the 2016 Northeast Lakes Division III Player of the Year...was a first-team Division III All-Ohio selection as a junior…for the year had 3,692 all-purpose yards…threw for 2,311 yards and 16 touchdowns…rushed for 1,381 yard and 18 scores…in a 49-45 playoff win over Bowling Green had 347 yards passing and 288 yards rushing, including four scores…Preppers finished the year 8-4…coach was Ben Malbasa.

Aaron Ervin

6-5 | 290 | Offensive Tackle
Springboro, Ohio

High School: Third-team Division I All-Ohio selection as an offensive lineman…named first-team Division I All-Southwest District on the offensive line…first-team All-Greater Western Ohio Conference selection…did not allow a sack in 2017…Panthers were 5-5 in 2017 and 7-3 in 2016…also played on the defensive line during career…earned the school's Scholar-Athlete Award…coach was Ryan Wilhite.

Zach Farrar

6-4 | 215 | Wide Receiver

Southlake, Texas
Southlake Carroll
Mississippi Gulf Coast CC/Oklahoma

Mississippi Gulf Coast: Caught 11 passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns…averaged 24.2 yards per catch…had two grabs for 104 yards and two touchdowns against East Mississippi…had two receptions for 87 yards and a TD vs. Jones County…coach was Jack Wright.

Oklahoma: Redshirted in 2016.

High School: As a senior, caught 56 passes for 1,115 yards and 18 TD...named to Texas AP Sports Writers Class 6A All-State Honorable Mention a junior, caught 29 passes for 554 yards and three touchdowns...rated as a four-star recruit by Scout and a three-star prospect by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports...ranked as No. 58 wide receiver in country by Scout, No. 84 by Rivals, No. 151 by 247Sports and No. 175 by ESPN.. tabbed No. 76 recruit from state of Texas by Rivals, No. 140 by 247Sports and No. 181 by ESPN...drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 26th round of the MLB Draft...played for Coach Hal Wasson.

Grant Gonya

6-0 | 170 | Placekicker
Hudson, Ohio

High School: First-team Division II All-Ohio selection as a placekicker…for the year, was 12-of-15 on field-goal attempts…converted a long field goal of 47 yards…made 38-of-40 PAT attempts…also handled punting and kickoff duties as a senior…was a first-team Division II All-Northeast Inland District pick…as a senior, Hudson went 7-4 reaching the first round of the Division II playoffs…set the Ohio record for career field goals made with 44 breaking the old mark of 40 held by Danny Milligan of Cincinnati St. Xavier…also owns a state mark by making 17 consecutive field goals…finished career ranking second in state history in points by a kicker with 286 (just 19 shy of record)…made 44-of-55 career FG attempts and 154-of-160 PAT kicks…also scored a pair of touchdowns in career…was a first-team all-state selection as a sophomore in 2015…Hudson was 11-3 in 2015 advancing to the Division II semifinals…as a junior was an honorable-mention Division II All-Northeast Inland District selection…coach was Jeff Gough final two seasons and Ron Wright first two years.

Kierre Hawkins

6-3 | 250 | Tight End

Maple Heights, Ohio
Maple Heights
Ohio State

Ohio State: Did not see playing time in 2016…redshirted in 2015…coach was Urban Meyer.

High School: Was a consensus 4-star prospect (Rivals, 247Sports, Scout and ESPN) who had experience at running back, wildcat quarterback, receiver and on defense…was rated as high as the No. 11 tight end prospect by both 247Sports and Rivals, and ESPN ranked him as a Top 30 athlete…was the No. 3 tight end in the Midwest according to Scout and the No. 12 player in the Ohio senior class, according to 247Sports…named all-Midwest Region by Prepstar…Hawkins received third-team Associated Press Division I all-state honors as a senior when he helped his team to a 7-3 overall mark…as a junior in 2014 scored 14 touchdowns and rushed for 803 was Devlin Culliver.

Derek Hite

6-3 | 250 | Defensive End/Defensive Tackle
Piqua, Ohio
Piqua High School

High School: Second-team Division III All-Southwest District selection as a senior on defense…first-team North Division All-GWOC selection…played tight end and defensive end at Piqua…caught four passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns while adding 30 tackles including a sack…had a huge sophomore campaign registering 40 total tackles, including 22 solo stops…had 5.5 sacks and forced three fumbles…also is part of wrestling program.

Griffin Hoak

6-1 | 225 | Linebacker
Dublin, Ohio
Dublin Coffman

High School: Named first-team All-Ohio Division I as a senior…was an Ohio Division I All-Central District selection as a senior…played middle linebacker…Coffman went 8-3 in 2017 advancing to the Division I state playoffs…Shamrocks' defense had five shutouts during the year…as a junior was an honorable-mention all-district pick…coach was Mark Crabtree.
Will enroll at YSU in January…his brother, Gunnar, is a quarterback at Kentucky…his dad, Frank, played for Ohio State

Myles McHaney

6-4 | 205 | Linebacker
Macomb, Mich.
L'Anse Creuse North High School

High School: Honorable-mention All-Macomb County selection as a senior…played in the secondary and was a wide receiver…coach was Anthony Kiner…also plays basketball.

Kendric Mallory

6-2 | 200 | Wide Receiver
Dayton, Ohio
Ventura College

Ventura: As a sophomore was a Region III All-California first-team pick…first-team All-Southern California Football Association National Division Northern League pick…had 70 receptions for 703 yards and eight touchdowns…hauled in 12 receptions against Saddleback for 90 yards and three touchdowns…had TD catches in six games…had seven-or-more receptions on seven occasions…had 10 catches against Orange Coast…posted a season-best 111 yards receiving against Canyons…ranked as the 27th-best wide receiver by GridironRR…Ventura was 8-3 in 2017…as a freshman had 42 catches for 638 yards and 11 touchdowns…was a second-team SCFA National Division Northern League selection as a freshman…hauled in nine passes for 124 yards and had two touchdowns against Fullerton…in win over Mt. San Antonio had 105 yards on six catches and scored three touchdowns…caught touchdown passes in eight games…Pirates won the conference championship in 2016 and 2017…Ventura was also 8-3 in 2016…coach was Steve Mosshagian.

Devon Robinson

6-6 | 300 | Offensive Line

Sicklerville, N.J.
Winslow Township High School / Monroe College

Monroe: Played both tackle positions as a sophomore...primarily played right tackle...Mustangs posted an 8-2 record in 2017...saw action as a was Terry Karg.

High School: Played in Phil Simms North vs. South All-Star Game...selected first-team all state, all-conference and South Jersey...named a Blue-Grey All American...played three seasons on the basketball team.