When Bo Pelini was officially named Head Football Coach at Youngstown State back in December, his recruiting philosophy was made clear…
“We’re gonna try to recruit the best guys out there. First and foremost in this area and the surrounding areas,” Pelini said.
Wednesday, six of those top players from right here in the valley bought in…officially signing National Letter of Intent to play for the Penguins.
“To me, those are the kids that are very familiar with the history, the tradition. What this community is. What this university stands for. And I only think it’s gonna get better,” said Pelini.
Pelini wasted little time bolstering the offense….adding the Division six Offensive Player of the Year…and South Range’s all-time leading rusher Joe Alessi to the Penguin backfield.
” I love Coach Pelini and Coach Brown. All of them. I love the fact that I’m home locally so that I can be here to play in front of my hometown. And I love the facilities and everything that YSU has to offer,” said Alessi.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Isiah Scott…who chose to play for Coach Pelini after racking up 470 receiving yards at Hubbard last Fall…helping the Eagles to the Division III Regional Finals.
“He told me he was gonna push me. And I told him that it would be weird if he didn’t push me. I would think that he wouldn’t care. But, he said he’d push me and I’d love to play for a coach that will push me,” Scott said.
A pair of Cardinal Mooney standouts are heading to play for the Penguins. Walk-on wide receiver D.J. Anderson joins standout Kicker Zak Kennedy in this year’s recruiting class…continuing to call the turf at Stambaugh Stadium home.
“I mean, I just love the city, I love my family. And it’s just gonna be great to play in the atmosphere of Youngstown,” added Kennedy.
” We played our home games at YSU for Mooney, so, I’ll have a lot of support of people to come and watch me,” explained Anderson.
It’s a luxury that will likewise be the case for First-Team All-Ohio Punter and Springfield Tight End Mark Schuler.
“Oh, it’s so much fun. I mean, I already had so many of my friends and family saying that they were gonna get season tickets and be able to come see my games. And, just to be able to have that support is…it means a lot,” said Schuler.
Last but not least, the wait is over West Branch standout Lineman Jacob Zinni…who has been waiting to officially call himself a Penguin since verbally committing last summer.
“Well, it’s definitely a dream come true. It feels like I have been waiting a long time for this day to come….since last July actually. But it feels great to be a Penguin and be part of the tradition,” added Zinni.
Pelini says one of his main recruiting goals was to add playmaking depth to the YSU roster.
“Not only are the good football players, but, as you notice as you go down the list, a lot of kids that played on winning football teams, winning football programs. Understand what it takes, the type of commitment it takes to have success, to play for championship football teams, and come from a culture where they understand what winning is,” Pelini said.