Coming home: Former Ursuline star Brady Shannon changes sports, transfers to Youngstown State – Youngstown Vindicator

Dec 25, 2023
Staff file photo / Neel Madhavan. Former Ursuline quarterback Brady Shannon breaks a tackle during a Division IV playoff game against Cleveland Glenville during the 2021 season.
Brady Shannon has been in the service of two masters for most of his athletic career.
He played three sports throughout high school during his time at Ursuline — football, baseball and basketball, eventually developing into a Division I prospect in both baseball and football.
So Shannon was left with a choice. He had to decide which one he wanted to pursue at the next level. He had multiple offers from various schools in both sports, but despite his love and passion for football, Shannon opted to go to Central Florida to play baseball.
“At the time, I was really interested in baseball, and my goal was to play college baseball at UCF,” Shannon said. “I built a really great relationship with the coaching staff and it was a goal of mine to play baseball down south for a big school, and UCF was one of those schools that reached out.”
But during his freshman and early part of his sophomore seasons with the Golden Knights, there was always that nagging thought in the back of his mind.
“I really missed playing football,” Shannon said. “I was itching to play it ever since my last game over at Ursuline.”
So, at the end of UCF’s fall baseball season, Shannon put his name in the NCAA transfer portal at the start of December — not as a baseball transfer, but as a football transfer.
One school reached out to Shannon right away and kept in contact — Youngstown State. The Penguins had recruited Shannon for football when he was at Ursuline, so they had that prior rapport with him.
Once that happened, it just made sense for Shannon. Everything fell into place, and he announced his commitment Dec. 9 to come home to the Mahoning Valley and transfer to YSU to return to football.
“There’s other schools who reached out on the football side of things. There’s also a good amount of baseball schools who reached out wanting me to play baseball, as well,” Shannon said. “(YSU) showed the most interest out of anyone. Then, when I came home, I got to talk to the staff and everything and they gave me a good opportunity to come in and play the sport I love.”
It was “tough” for Shannon during Saturdays in the fall. He’d sit on his couch in his UCF dorm room watching college football, feeling like he was capable of being out there on the field.
“I can definitely be out there. That made me miss it even more,” Shannon said. “I just thought it was good timing for me to make this decision, for myself and my family. Me still being young and having a lot of time left in my college career, I thought it was a good time, and obviously I found a really good fit with where I ended up.”
That being said, Shannon has no qualms with his time at UCF.
He earned considerable playing time during his freshman season, playing in 25 games and starting nine. Shannon finished the 2023 spring season with a .149 average, 5 RBIs and two home runs in 47 at bats. One of his homers ended up being a walk-off winner for the Golden Knights against Siena early in the season.
“Obviously, things don’t always go as planned,” Shannon said. “There’s always going to be bumps in the road that are unexpected, and I feel like things happen for a reason. I definitely don’t regret anything that I’ve done so far in my college career. I definitely feel like I had a great time down there and built great relationships with coaches and players. I’m really happy with the decision I made out of high school, but obviously a change in thought happened while I was down there, and I wanted to go back to playing football because I missed it a lot.”
Even though Shannon hasn’t played in a competitive football game since leading Ursuline in the Division IV state championship game on Dec. 3, 2021, he’s confident that he’ll be able to pick up where he left off with football once he gets to YSU.
“I’m a true believer in my ability in what I can do on the football field and the baseball field,” Shannon said. “Some people may doubt, and I’ve been asked that question a lot, ‘can you still do it?’ But honestly, I know my ability, and I’ll be able to get my feet wet with spring ball and get back into the swing of things. … I know I can still do this, and I wouldn’t have made this decision if I didn’t think I could still do it.”
The physical tools and attributes that made him a 3-star football prospect coming out of high school are all still there.
Plus, Shannon had no shortage of individual accomplishments as a quarterback at Ursuline. During the 2021 season, he set the school records for career passing yards and passing touchdowns.
“I think Brady is the full package. He has the ability to run the ball very well — he’s really taken a big step as far as that goes — and has shown a lot of confidence in his running ability,” Ursuline football coach Dan Reardon told the Tribune Chronicle and Vindicator during the 2021 season. “His arm strength is off the charts; he has the ability to make every throw.”
With current YSU starting quarterback Mitch Davidson out of eligibility after his record-breaking final season this past fall, the Penguins’ starting quarterback job is wide open heading into the upcoming season.
Springfield product Beau Brungard saw playing time as YSU’s backup quarterback this fall. So Shannon, Brungard, freshmen Bryce Schodelmyer and Vinny Ballone, redshirt-freshman Max Blanc and high school recruit Colin Siebert, who signed with the Penguins on Wednesday, will all spend the spring, summer and fall offseason vying to be YSU’s QB1 for the Penguins’ 2024 season opener at Villanova on Aug. 29.
“It’s exciting. I don’t know Mitch personally, but he obviously set a good example of what a quarterback at YSU looks like,” Shannon said. “I know I’m a competitor. I’m sure all the other guys in the quarterback room are competitors as well. But, it’s all about the team for me, so it’s all going to come down to whoever helps the team the most. I’m really excited to go out there and just play again and learn the offense and meet the team and build relationships with the guys and with the coaching staff. Plus, it’s going to be a lot of fun being back in Youngstown, as well.”
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