YSU made it back to the playoffs after the lingering effects of the Pelini disaster. They have improved each year since DP took over. Next year they will return most starters and would look to go farther both in MVFC and the playoffs. YSU is better than 90% of FCS but still is off of their Championship level of play. However -
Recruiting needs to step up. They have a solid class, the current RFR players who all redshirted , started to break into starting positions this year. YSU remains a young team but building to heavy seniority team , as Nova was this year, is one goal. Another is to sandwich the program around ďsuperĒ recruits as the current RFR. Both classes either side of those are average and not heavy on real talent. They have to hit home runs each year, not singles.
Im hopeful the coaches will resist the heavy political influence to recruit the Valley, which is heavy in D-II and III talent but limited in D-I, both FBS and FCS. Far cry from what it used to be but population loss, sport specialization and development of talent elsewhere in the U.S. means the easy days of recruiting are long gone. Tressel knew he needed to recruit Florida, Georgia, California and Texas. Still do.
Number 1 is recruiting a QB or two. Brungard, despite being the legacy son of a former National Championship QB, isnít the answer. Strong leg and weak arm was on display for all to see if you opened your eyes. We may have a QB of the future on the roster who might develope, but he is years away. With 4 of 5 OL starters returning, our dominant RB and a couple of RFR RBs behind him, a stable of decent WRs and TEs, it becomes a focus of attention to look for a portal/ transfer/Juco QB as well as a H.S. Player.
D needs a secondary but we lose only one LB and both starting safeties. The RFR class will help here. Older, bigger and stronger should help too. Our kickers are young and both have performed well..
Finally there the questions about the coaching staff many raise on the cheerleader board. The reality is the AD has sacrificed the money sports over his tenure, building superior facilities at the expense of personnel. You now have a bowling team, lacrosse and brought back swimming and diving. Sports expansion came with a heavy cost to the money sports over the years as their records revealed. The HCs are underpaid as well as their staffs. It is what it is and with steady declining enrollment, YSU will be under pressure for years to come financially. YSU chances of remaining on top were blown with the ADs selection of coaches, their contract extensions and the insane scheduling to appease the fat cats in the loges.
Bottom line, with 12 game schedules next year, most of the team returning experienced and bigger and stronger, the only critical piece missing is a QB. Solve that and YSU not only has a winner, but returns to playoffs again as they setup for future returns with much better personnel . Recruiting coming up quickly. We will see how they do.