Author Topic: YSU football starts Fall camp  (Read 599 times)

Offline Double ET

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YSU football starts Fall camp
« on: August 04, 2022, 05:36:59 AM »
From today’s Tribune and Vindy:

Penguins begin fall camp with excitement

AUG 4, 2022

Staff writer

Correspondent photo / Robert Hayes YSU head coach Doug Phillips speaks to his team following their first practice of fall camp yesterday afternoon.

YOUNGSTOWN — The excitement was palpable Wednesday morning at Stambaugh Stadium, as Youngstown State began its fall camp ahead of of its Sept. 3 season opener against Duduesne and the rest of the 2022 season.

“It’s like Christmas morning; it’s like opening presents,” said YSU coach Doug Phillips. “But that’ll wear off, and then it’s like Groundhog Day because we’re going to do this for the next 24 days. To be able to overcome that adversity, the mental toughness side of it, that’s what I’m anxious to see. But we’ve had a hard offseason, so hopefully that prepared our kids for a hard preseason camp.”

The Penguins are seeking to improve from their 3-7 mark a season ago. Of those seven losses, three were to opponents which YSU led entering the fourth quarter.

Taking the next step begins with the offense, says quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw.

“It’s really on me and the offense,” he said. “If we click, I feel like we’re going to do really well.”

Crenshaw enters his sophomore campaign after earning Missouri Valley Football Conference Freshman of the Year honors last season. He accumulated 791 yards and six touchdowns pa$$ing and added 585 yards and seven touchdowns rushing.

He took first-team reps Wednesday, along with tailback Jaleel McLaughlin, who was named to the watch list for the Walter Payton Award, given to the top offensive player in the FCS. Up front, the Penguins return nearly all of last season’s starting unit, and each of the returners started in at least five games last season.

At receiver, Bryce Oliver hauled in a deep catch at one point during team drills. C.J. Charleston and Latrell Fordham, a transfer from Eastern Michigan, also worked into the mix.

Also of note on the offensive side, Alliance product Brandon Alexander has moved from quarterback to wide receiver. Springfield alum Beau Brungard is working out with quarterbacks behind Crenshaw and Mitch Davidson, who took second-team reps.

“They’re all looking good,” Crenshaw a$$essed. “The (offensive) line, I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do. They’re bigger, stronger, faster. So that’s what I would say jumps out to me.”

Defensively, the line also returns plenty of experience, including Dylan Wudke and James Jackson on the ends and Chris Fitzgerald, Hunter Allen and Andres Lehrmann, among others, are also back. The linebackers lost Grant Dixon, but brought in Western Illinois transfer Greg Benton, who joins a corps that includes Griffin Hoak, who had the second-most tackles on the team last year.

The secondary welcomed Ohio State transfer Marcus Hooker to its ranks Wednesday. He joins a unit that includes Warren G. Harding graduate Troy Jackubec as well as Quincy Lenton, Tyjon Jones and others with significant playing experience.

So far, Phillips likes how the Penguins have started.

“We’re lightyears ahead of where we were if you look at Day 1 a year ago to now,” he said. “That spring and what that allowed us to do with the kids, if you ask all of our players, their football IQs are up. They know the offense; they know the defense.”

Of the defense, he added, “We have to be sound. We have to be fundamentally sound. To come out here and work those fundamentals, that’s got to be the focus.”

And it’s that day-by-day process Phillips wants his team to focus on the most.

“If you go in the locker room, there’s not one opponent up on the schedule,” he noted. “We’re focusing on the Penguins. Where do we need to get better? Where do we need to build depth? That competition at every position and finding ways to come out every day and find a way to get better as a team (are the focus).”

Offline dwj

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Re: YSU football starts Fall camp
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2022, 08:34:07 AM »
It’s good to see the program getting local media attention.

Offline YSU45

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Re: YSU football starts Fall camp
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2022, 09:42:28 AM »
Any word on how things are going?  Any freshman pushing for playing time?

Offline Double ET

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Re: YSU football starts Fall camp
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2022, 05:56:55 AM »
From today’s Tribune/Vindy

Penguins building depth in 1st fall scrimmage

AUG 14, 2022

Staff writer

Correspondent photo / Robert Hayes YSU’s Dra Rushton (Liberty) stiff arms Devin Johnson during the Penguins’ first scrimmage Saturday afternoon.

YOUNGSTOWN — Defense won the day, 27-21, at Youngstown State’s first team scrimmage Saturday, though the score was mostly secondary to the purpose.

“For us, it’s about building depth,” YSU head coach Doug Phillips noted. “To come out and do a live scrimmage from start to finish and be able to get the (second- and third-string players into live action), and now we can go back in the film room and see the film, evaluate them and see who can help us when we get into the season.”

The first string offense sputtered to begin the day, posting back-to-back three-and-out series. That included a pair of Demeatric Crenshaw incomplete pa$$es on drive one and a sack of Crenshaw and another incompletion on drive two. He did find Bryce Oliver for a 9-yard gain in that span.

However, on the first stringers’ third series, the offense hit a groove, particularly in the ground game. Dra Rushton, a Liberty graduate, received first-team reps in place of Jaleel McLaughlin, who was held out of the scrimmage to prevent any injuries. Rushton ran for 64 yards and a touchdown as part of an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped by his 1-yard plunge into the end zone.

“The offensive line told me, ‘Come on. We’re ready to go; let’s work.’ The pigs out there, they moved everyone, and I just have to find a hole and hit it. So I credit the O-line,” Rushton said.

Crenshaw also completed an 11-yard pa$$ to Bryce Oliver during the series.

“We know what Dra did in the spring, and we had a rep count on Dre,” Phillips said. “That first two series of the scrimmage, he showed what he can do with the football in his hands, and once we saw that, we said, ‘OK, now let’s go find the No. 3 back.'”

To that end, Phillips highlighted the play of Ursuline alum Dante Walker and Austintown Fitch graduate Randy Smith Jr.

Walker had a rushing touchdown, while Smith picked up nice gains at times and also factored well into YSU’s pa$$ing game, particularly in the flats.

Receiver Max Tomczak also had a strong day with the second-team offense, catching pa$$es of 60 and 20 yards from Mitch Davidson on one drive, capped by the second reception for a touchdown in the corner.

Chase Glover-Rogers had a pair of receptions, one for seven yards and one for 14, the latter from Crenshaw.

“We know we have to build depth. We know C.J. Charleston, Bryce Oliver and Latrell Fordham; they’ve shown in spring and through camp thus far. So to see Max Tomczak on one series catch four balls, one being a touchdown, to see Chase Glover making plays, that’s really where we needed to build depth on the offensive side of the ball,” Phillips said.

Tomczak nearly had another touchdown, as he was wide open up the seam. But a Crenshaw pa$$ just missed the mark.

Defensively, Phillips noted the rep count was a bit higher, as the unit features a lot of new faces.

“The Marcus Hookers, the Caleb Burrs at safety, the Greg Bentons, Keon Freemans, they got a lot of reps today because it’s a new defense for them. So they’re learning as we go. For them to have the opportunity to play that many plays today will make them better.”

So far, Phillips said he likes what he sees in terms of progress.

“I thought we made a huge jump from Week 1 to Week 2, which you do,” he noted. “I thought we were a completely different team this week practicing. Now we come in for Sunday practice, and we have to get refocused. We have to make another huge jump going into Week 3 of camp.”