Top 25 Players Represent Stadium's Storied 25-Year History
From the Youngstown State player who scored the first touchdown to the the Penguin who had the team's final score at home in 2006 the top 25 YSU players in Stambaugh Stadium history are a collection of some of the top playmakers in the program's history.
Overall, 12 offensive players, 11 defensive standouts and two placekickers, who both continued their careers in the NFL, were selected. Of the 13 offensive players, two began on the defensive side before becoming All-Americans on offense. Of the 25 players, 21 were named first-team All-Americans.
Six offensive linemen made the squad to lead all positions with All-Americans Matt Hogg, Pat Crummey, Todd Kollar, Drew Gerber, Matt Hogg and Jim Zdelar being selected among the top 25. Crummey and Kollar began their careers on the defensive side of the ball before finding success on offense.
Running backs made up one fifth of the squad with Marcus Mason, Paris Wicks, Tamron Smith, P.J. Mays and Adrian Brown being selected to the team. Wicks scored the stadium's first touchdown against Akron on Sept. 4, 1982 in the facilities opening contest. Mason scored the Guins' final touchdown of 2006 in the 28-21 playoff victory over Illinois State.
The five running backs hold down five of the top six career rushing yardage positions in school history.
The lone quarterback to make the team was Jeff Ryan. Ryan played for the Guins from 1998-2001 and left as the school's career leader in touchdown passes (50), games started (42), rushing yards for a quarterback (1,872) as well as total offensive yards (8,098) and total offensive plays (1,374).
Kickers Jeff Wilkins and Paul McFadden were selected to be part of the top-25 team. Both had successful YSU careers before moving onto the NFL. Wilkins is the school-record holder for points by a kicker, point-after conversions, point-after attempts, field-goals made and field-goal attempts.
Three defensive lineman, three linebackers and five members of the secondary represent the defense.
On the defensive front line, All-Americans Tony Bowens, Pat Danko and Harry Deligianis -- all members of the YSU Athletics Hall of Fame -- were selected.
At the linebacker position, Tim Johnson, Leon Jones and Paul Soltis were selected. Johnson is the only player on the top 25 list that came to YSU from a junior college. Soltis (Ohio State) is among three FBS transfers -- Mason (Illinois) and Zdelar (Pittsburgh) -- to be tabbed to the squad.
Jones and Soltis rank one and two in all-time career tackles while Johnson, in just two years, ranks fifth.
The secondary features three cornerbacks and two safeties. LeVar Greene, Dave Roberts and Randy Smith are the corners while Dwyte Smiley and Lester Weaver are the safeties. Roberts finished with 22 interceptions, Greene had 14 and Smith had 13. Weaver finished his career with 16 picks.
The only non-first-team All-Americans on the team were Mays, Ryan, Brown and McFadden. However, Mays was a second-team All-American while Ryan and Brown both received Honorable-Mention All-America accolades.
The top 25 players were honored during a ceremony on Sept. 15, 2007 at Stambaugh Stadium.
Top 25 Players (Listed Alphabetically)
Tony Bowens | 1987-90 Defensive Lineman
Adrian Brown | 1996-99 Running Back
Pat Crummey | 1998-2001 Offensive Lineman
Pat Danko | 1988-91 Defensive Lineman
Harry Deligianis | 1995-97 Defensive Lineman
Drew Gerber | 1990-93 Offensive Lineman
LeVar Greene | 1998-2001 Defensive Back
Matt Hogg | 1994-97 Offensive Lineman
Tim Johnson | 1999-00 Linebacker
Leon Jones | 1992-95 Linebacker
Todd Kollar | 1994-97 Offensive Lineman
Paul McFadden | 1980-83 Kicker
Marcus Mason | 2005-06 Running Back
P.J. Mays | 2000-02 Running Back
Dave Roberts | 1989-92 Defensive Back
Jeff Ryan | 1998-2001 Quarterback
Ian Shirey | 1996-99 Center
Dwyte Smiley | 1996-99 Safety
Randy Smith | 1991-94 Defensive Back/Kick Returner
Tamron Smith | 1990-93 Running Back
Paul Soltis | 1987-89 Linebacker
Lester Weaver | 1991-94 Safety
Paris Wicks | 1979-82 Running Back
Jeff Wilkins | 1990-93 Kicker
Jim Zdelar | 1987-88 Offensive Lineman