Springfield QB Schondelmyer makes college decision

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

The next stop in first-team all-state quarterback Bryce Schondelmyer’s football journey is Youngstown State.

Schondelmyer, who led Springfield to its second straight Division I state final in his only season with the Wildcats, will join the Penguins as a preferred walk-on and is the only quarterback in their 2023 recruiting class.

Schondelmyer committed Saturday and will sign a letter of intent on Feb. 1.

“It feels great to have a home and know where I’m going,” Schondelmyer said. “It’s a really good opportunity I’m walking into. Nowadays with the transfer portal and how crazy college football recruiting is, I think this is a really good spot to be in.”

Schondelmyer (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) will be only the fourth quarterback on the roster. Mitch Davidson, the returning starter, will be a senior and became the starter at midseason. Davidson entered YSU as a preferred walk-on and was one of seven quarterbacks. Head coach Doug Phillips has since put Davidson on scholarship.

FCS programs like Youngstown have 63 scholarships available compared to 85 at FBS schools like Ohio State. Preferred walk-ons are more common at FCS schools.

“Coach Phillips does a really good job of if you’re playing well and you’re working hard, of putting guys on scholarship,” Schondelmyer said. “It’s important to him.”

Schondelmyer also had preferred walk-on offers from Bowling Green and FCS schools Tennessee Tech and St. Francis, Pa., both of which offered some scholarship money. He also got a scholarship offer from Division II Tiffin. But the relationship he built with quarterbacks coach Josh Sinagoga, and the opportunity he sees to get on the field, led him to YSU.

“It came down to wanting to follow my dream to Division I and knowing that I can play at Youngstown State and believing in myself that I can play there,” he said. “That’s what drew me.”

The Penguins won five of their final six games to finish 7-4 and with a winning record for the first time since 2017. Phillips, who is from the Youngstown area, will be entering his fourth season.

“Coach Phillips has done a great job and we’re going to continue to get better,” Schondelmyer said.

Schondelmyer’s one season with the Wildcats helped him reach his goal of going to a Division I program. He played three seasons at Division VI Arcanum and threw for over 3,000 yards and 45 touchdowns as a junior. He wanted to take a shot at playing in Division I to challenge himself and help his recruitment, and he found a perfect opportunity for both at Springfield.

The Wildcats reached the state final in 2021 behind senior all-state quarterback Te’Sean Smoot. Schondelmyer moved to Springfield and made immediate connections with Kentucky-bound receiver Anthony Brown, Daylen Bradley and the rest of the Wildcats’ talented receiving corps.

“It was very beneficial,” Schondelmyer said of coming to Springfield. “When you win games, you’re going to be recruited, because schools want winners. And if you’re playing deep in the playoffs, as the college seasons wrap up, you get a lot of attention.”

In 15 games, Schondelmyer passed for 4,630 yards and 48 touchdowns. He surpassed 300 yards in nine games, including games of 406 and 492. He had one game with six touchdown passes and two others with five. After the season, YSU liked what they saw and offered Schondelmyer a spot on their roster on Dec. 6.

“Coach (Maurice) Douglass was constantly on my side no matter what believing in me to lead the football team, and that really helped my confidence a lot,” Schondelmyer said. “And Coach (Chris) Wallace did a tremendous job this year. He’s a great play caller. I learned a lot from him, so I’m very, very thankful for him.”

Schondelmyer said the acceptance and togetherness he felt from the community and his teammates meant a lot and helped the team be successful.

“I had some tremendous receivers – it was just get them the ball and they do their thing,” he said. “And the offensive line, they protected me, you got to thank them. You can’t throw it for that many yards without those guys, They’re just as important as the speedy receivers. And our defense did their job and gave us plenty of opportunities to score.”

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