YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – No spring football has forced Youngstown State University’s players to use other avenues to better themselves for the upcoming season.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Mark Waid was hoping to make an impression on the new coaching staff this spring. While he’s not able to do that on the field, Waid is still making the most of his downtime in anticipation for the fall.
“We might not be able to do the physical stuff as a team in practice, but there’s mental reps we get where we can sit with our coaching staff and sit with our position group and the entire offensive side of the ball,” said Waid. “We’ll run through simulations and put a defense up on the screen and it gives it more of a realistic feel.”
Waid is hoping to build off his redshirt freshman season where he played in four games, even finding the endzone on several occasions. After one year under Bo Pelini, he’s now adjusting to a new system under head coach Doug Phillips.
“I feel like it’s truly more of a family atmosphere,” said Waid. “Coach will just call us to see how we’re doing to check up on us. Every single day, a coach will call to check on our academics to make sure we’re doing the right things on and off the field.”
Waid will be right in the mix at quarterback this year, presumably alongside redshirt junior Joe Craycraft.
“It’s an open competition, everybody has an equal playing field,” said Waid. “It’s a brand-new offense, and I’m just taking every measurement I can to better myself. I’ve been throwing, whether it’s at Girard and a bunch of other places. I’m trying to work no matter what the situation is and in any way possible.”
There’s still plenty of unknowns for the upcoming season. For now, the Penguins’ season opener is September 5 at Akron. But there’s even a chance college football could be played without fans this fall.
As for Waid, he just wants to play.
“I’ll play, there could be no fans in the stands, there could be eight people on the field, six feet apart, I’ll play no matter what the situation is,” said Waid. “The entire team is preparing like we’re going to play this season, and whatever happens, happens. We just control what we can control and try to be the best we can be every single day.”