Youngstown State University head football coach Eric Wolford announced to media on Wednesday the signing of 23 recruits.
Thirteen of the 23 signees play defense, and five play on the defensive line. Wolford said the main thing about signing defensive players is seeing what they could potentially bring to special teams.
“We felt like a couple of our special teams [players] probably need to play better, and we need more defensive players available to play on those teams,” he said.
While naming the players, Wolford said defensive lineman Austin Trgovcich reminds Wolford of himself when he was an offensive lineman at Kansas State University.
Trgovcich played five games last year with a partial tear in his labrum during Cardinal Mooney High School’s run to the Division III State Championship.
“He’s a lot better player than I was, a lot better athlete, but ‘Trg’ is a model football player,” Wolford said. “He’s a hard worker, loves to lift some weights.”
While recruiting, Wolford said he wanted to get a few big men on the offensive and defensive lines.
Hess will remain the starting quarterback, but Wolford recruited Nick Wargo from Walsh Jesuit High School in Stow to shadow Hess.
Wargo went 89-137 passing last year with 1,331 yards and 13 touchdowns in the regular season. He worked with YSU quarterbacks coach Shane Montgomery last summer.
Wide receiver Christian Bryan who was recruited last year by Wolford was selected as the program’s Newcomer of the Year, an honorable mention All-MVFC pick and member of the conference’s All-Newcomer team as a freshman.
Wolford said he believes he found another player similar to Bryan in receiver Michael Wheary.
Wolford said he is a believer in second chances and would give one to receiver Byron Pringle out of Robinson High School in Tampa, Fla.
Pringle missed the entire 2010 season when he and teammate Jovan Woods committed a crime in south Tampa.
The two were 16 years old at that time and were arrested on felony charges, including robbery, aggravated battery with a weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and grand theft.
“I think Byron’s a classic example of a guy that was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Wolford said. “We have an opportunity to give a kid a chance because a lot of us don’t really know the real situation.”
Pringle did play last season, and he was a second-team class 5A Florida all-state selection and first-team All-Hillsborough County selection.