Michael Wells will take his talents from New Castle High to Youngstown State University in the fall.
Wells committed to play football at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision level after signing a National Letter of Intent on Dec. 15 during National Signing Day. Wells will play as a linebacker for the Penguins.
“It feels bigtime. They have a lot of fans that come to their games. Everyone that’s there is close,” Wells said. “If I went to a bigger school, I’d be a water drop in the ocean. Everyone matters there; they treat everyone the same. They made me feel like they really wanted me. They got a good family there and really just them wanting me to be successful for the future.”
This fall on offense, Wells carried the ball 49 carries for 250 yards and caught 25 passes for 489 yards after missing the first two games of the season with a broken hand. He also threw for 100 yards and a touchdown.
“I think Mike’s just scratching the surface of how good he can be as a football player. He’s got an elite level of athleticism,” former New Castle football coach Joe Cowart said. “He’s going to turn 18 in August. He’s going to turn 18 at YSU as a freshman. He’s got piles of untapped potential. We’re excited to be following his journey.”
Wells will team up with Marcus Hooker at Youngstown State. Hooker, also a New Castle graduate, transferred from Ohio State.
Aside from football, Wells was a standout on the hardwood for the Red Hurricane.
The senior ended his basketball career with a total of 1,932 points. Wells now sits in eighth place for all-time Lawrence County boys basketball scoring leaders.
Wells also competed under the New Castle banner for baseball and track and field.
“No question he’s got some natural ability, there’s no doubt about that. He’s an elite competitor,” Cowart said. “When you’re able to participate in four different sports that shows the competitive nature you have. Mike’s a winner at his core.
“He’s a rare talent, as good as he is as an athlete, Mike’s so grounded. He comes from a great home. He has had a mature disposition of himself knowing what he wants to accomplish in sports and academically.”
Wells commented that he is solely focusing on his academics and football while attending Youngstown State University.
“That will be much easier than trying to do two sports there, for sure,” Wells said. “That’s what I was always raised to do. Focus on my academics and sport second. It’s easier than focusing on multiple sports but it will still be a challenge when I get to college.”
Wells’ chosen major at YSU will be financial management. He commented that he has a skill with numbers and sees himself as a businessman outside the realm of sport.