The Youngstown State University baseball team has not seen a player drafted since Phil Klein, ranked 30th, in 2011. The YSU men’s basketball team has not seen anyone reach the NBA-ABA level since Leo Mogus in 1947.
Times are changing for YSU sports, though.
The YSU athletics program has seen the likes of football players such as Marcus Mason, Tim Johnson and Donald Jones in the NFL.
Jones, NFL wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills, was the first Penguin to see substantial time on a playing field since Ron Jaworski. An undrafted free agent in 2010, Jones played for YSU for two seasons while having career stats of 108 receptions for 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has proven himself to be a decent receiver in the NFL.
With the likes of Drew Dosch, Lamar Mady, Jamaine Cook and Kendrick Perry, YSU has the opportunity to send some players into the professional levels.
Mady, an offensive lineman, might be drafted into the NFL in April.
Mady — a 6-foot-3-inch, 315-pound lineman — played football for YSU for two seasons after transferring from Butler Community College in Kansas.
Mady could be the first Penguin drafted since Harry Deligianis was a fourth-round selection in 1998.
“It’s kind of a weird feeling knowing that, but it’s definitely a cool one,” Mady said.
Mike Mayock, an NFL Network analyst and NFL draft expert, ranked Mady as the best small-school interior lineman in this draft.
Eric Wolford, YSU’s head football coach, tweeted a good luck message to Mady: “Good luck to our guy Lamar Mady at the NFL Combine this week! ‘Be Relentless’ Lamar.”
Mady said his priority is to represent the school that he played for in his last two years of eligibility.
“I want Penguin Nation to know that I’m doing this for you. I’m just trying to put us on the map,” he said.
Along with Mady, basketball standout Perry also has a shot to make it to the national level: the NBA.
Perry — a 6-foot, 160-pound junior — is a guard from Ocoee, Fla. In his third season playing for the Penguins, he has already had some accomplishments to add to his resume.
In his sophomore season, Perry averaged a Horizon League-leading 16.8 points per game. He was named to the First-Team All-Horizon League Team, while also being named NABC All-District Second-Team. Perry also set the YSU record for most steals in a season with 74.
Jerry Slocum, head men’s basketball coach, said he has high praise for Perry, both as a player and as a man.
“Kendrick is what is good about college athletics. He is a hard worker on the court and in the classroom,” Slocum said. “He is a respectful kid and is a great leader. He’s special.”
Perry is hoping to become the first player to reach the NBA level since Mogus made it in 66 years ago.
The YSU baseball program has not had much success with players getting into the major leagues, sending four of their 18 players drafted since 1967.
Dosch said he hopes to change those statistics.
Dosch — a 6-foot-2-inch, 190-pound junior third baseman — is from Canal Winchester. He’s received recognition since his freshman year.
In his freshman season, he was named the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team pick. During the week of March 28, 2011, Dosch was named Horizon League Batter of the Week.
As a sophomore, Dosch was named First-Team All-Horizon League at third base. Was named Capital One Second-Team Academic All-American, as well as Academic All-Horizon League.
Dosch is aiming to be the first Penguin drafted since Klein. He also looks to be the first Penguin to make MLB impact since Brad Hennessey, who last appeared in the MLB in 2008 for the San Francisco Giants.