Signing with YSU gives Colegrove chills

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2007

With six inches of snow on the ground, Andy Colegrove should feel right at home when he travels to his new home.

Colegrove went from being a Fighting Tigers to becoming a Penguin and moved his Tanks Memorial Stadium homefield to the Youngstown State stadium known as “The Ice Castle.”

“It’s kind of ironic. Since they call their stadium the Ice Castle, this all fits right in,” Colegrove said after signing a letter-of-intent Wednesday with the Division I-AA national power.

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The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Colegrove was the first of three tight ends to commit to the Penguins and head coach Jon Heacock. The Penguins return two tight ends.

“My goal is to play,” Colegrove said. “They play three tight ends and I want to be one of them. If not, they’ll redshirt me, so it’s a win-win situation.

“The two tight ends they have coming back are very good. I’ve seen them on film. One is a real good athlete and one is a real good blocker. The thing I like is they run the ball a lot like us. They have three tight ends and they run behind them.”

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.

“They’re a power in Division I-AA and that’s what I liked about them,” Colegrove said. “They play at Ohio State the next two years and then Wisconsin. They don’t back down from anybody.”

The Penguins have won four I-AA national championships, all under Jim Tressel who is now the head coach at Ohio State. Youngstown opens at Ohio State in each of the next two seasons.

“I’ve liked Ohio State since I was a kid. It’ll be exciting but it will be different. You’ll be running out onto the field with 105,000 rooting against you, bit it’ll be fun,” Colegrove said. “I’ll get to play at least one of the next two years there.”

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.

Andy is the son of Jim and Rhonda Colegrove of Ironton.