From YSU Penguins to Philadelphia Eagles: NFL draft ties to Youngstown

By Kyle Ferraro

Youngstown State University has had a handful of successful players who have been selected during the NFL draft. One notable draft pick was Paul McFadden, who was drafted out of YSU and went on to have a favorable NFL career. 

The NFL draft is an event that gives teams the possibility to change the future of their franchises. The organizations roll the dice on players from many colleges, big and small.

McFadden, who was a place kicker at YSU, was drafted in the 12th round — 312th overall —  of the 1984 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. 

McFadden recalled where he was on draft day in 1984. 

“I was in my apartment on Pennsylvania Avenue. It was very late in the day because I went in the very last round,” McFadden said. 

McFadden got calls throughout the day from the Eagles, who let the kicker know that he was on the organization’s radar. 

“I got the call and [the Philadelphia Eagles] said they were up next, and they were picking me,” McFadden said. 

He went on to play six seasons in the NFL the majority being with the Eagles and stops with the New York Giants and the Atlanta Falcons to round out his career. In 1984, he was named the NFC Rookie of the Year and was the Eagles Co-MVP in 1984-85. 

After his retirement from the NFL, McFadden returned to YSU to serve as president of the YSU Foundation. 

The YSU Foundation is an independent, nonprofit corporation that pursues, manages and distributes resources to support scholarships and student initiatives. The foundation also focuses on the growth and development of YSU. 

“I love YSU. With two years to go in my [NFL] career, a reporter asked me what I wanted to do after I was done,” McFadden said. “I said, ‘I love my alma mater.’ I wanted to come back to YSU. I didn’t know what role, but I knew I wanted to be back.” 

The NFL draft is currently being held at the heart of the Las Vegas strip and will conclude April 30.