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Penguins pluck Ironton#8217;s Colegrove

It was a case of the defense helping the offense, and together it helped give the Youngstown State Penguins who they wanted.

The defensive play of senior Andy Colegrove was just what the Penguins were looking for on offense. As a result, the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Colegrove gave a verbal commitment Saturday to play for the Division I-AA power.

“They said they watched me on offense to see if I could block and catch, and then they watched me on defense to see if I would hit,” Colegrove said.

The selection of the Penguins ended months of recruiting dating back to last summer. Colegrove had more than a dozen schools express interest including Ohio, Akron, Toledo, Tiffin and Georgetown, Ky.

Besides his strong blocking skills, Colegrove caught 6 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns, an average of 28.2 yards per reception.

“They are going to sign three tight ends,” Colegrove said. “They run a three tight end set, so they plan on using one (of the new) tight ends and they’re going to redshirt the other two.

“It’s a win-win situation to me. I either get to play right off the bat, or if I get redshirted I get settled into college life and I get an extra year of school paid.”

Youngstown State was 11-3 last season and reached the Div. I-AA semifinals before losing 49-24 at Appalachian State. They were 9-2 in the regular season.

The Penguins have won four I-AA national championships, all under Jim Tressel who is now the head coach at Ohio State.

Ironically, the Penguins open next season at Ohio State on Sept. 1.

Colegrove said the success of the program and head coach Jon Heacock made the Penguins very attractive.

“They’re project to win it this year,” Colegrove said.