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Thomas Jefferson lineman Costy commits to YSU

| Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, 11:42 p.m.

Looking back at those miserable, hot, summer days of running and lifting weights, Cole Costy would do it again, just to spite the opposition.

“I can remember being sick from the heat and saying, ‘Who wants to be doing this now?' ” Costy said. “It just killed kids we played against that we were in such good shape. We'd be in the fourth quarter and we'd still be going strong.”

Costy, a 6-foot-2, 265-pound offensive lineman at Thomas Jefferson, will continue his strong work ethic into the upcoming summer and beyond, when he heads to Youngstown State to play football in 2014.

Costy, who along with teammate Chase Winovich was chosen to play in the annual Big 33 Football Classic in June, said Monday he gave Youngstown State a verbal commitment over the weekend and officially will sign with the Division I FCS program on Wednesday, which is National Letter of Intent Day.

“It's a great program,” Costy said. “Great facilities, great coaches. I'm in the same boat with a lot of kids. I'm maybe an inch too short for some of the BCS schools.”

No big deal for Costy, though. He didn't want to go too far from home anyway. He'll major in criminal justice, put in the work in the weight room during the hot summer and put on his pads to play the game he loves at a school that opened the 2013 season with an upset of Pitt.

“As a junior, I thought I might fit in at a MAC school,” Costy said. “Youngstown was the only D-I team that stuck with me through my senior year.”

Playing the line at a high level is a family tradition. Costy's dad, Scott, played on the same Pitt team as Thomas Jefferson coach Bill Cherpak in the mid-1980s. Costy's cousin Bruno Natter, another Thomas Jefferson product, plays line at Division II Mercyhurst. His cousin, Angelo Natter, first played at Thomas Jefferson and then at Central Catholic.

“My goal has always been to go to the highest level in football as possible,” Costy said. “I would be willing to put our high school conditioning and lifting schedule against anybody's. That can be attributed to Cherp (Cherpak) for doing the right things.”

Winovich, versatile Elizabeth Forward star JaQuan Davidson and Woodland Hills' Trevon Mathis are the highest-profile players from the Daily News region preparing to officially sign with colleges on Wednesday.

Winovich is a linebacker headed to Michigan; Davidson is going to Pitt, although his position is undefined after he played quarterback in high school; and Mathis will play defensive back at Toledo.

Other football commitments include Steel Valley offensive lineman Corey Pinkerton, who will sign with Division II Clarion, and McKeesport defensive lineman Juwan Hill, who will sign with FCS Duquesne.

“Great competition at Duquesne,” said Hill, also a Big 33 selection. “I feel that if I go out and compete and go beyond measures, I can be seen, no matter where I'm playing. I know they play a great schedule. I love that. It makes me compete and gives me a chance to put myself on the map.”

Duquesne and Youngstown State will play Sept. 6 at Stambaugh Stadium in Youngstown, Ohio.

Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at dmackall@tribweb.com.

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