Offensive line transfer could add spark to Flashes’ football

William Kovach

Sophomore offensive lineman Nate Warnock from St. Joseph’s College transferred to Kent State this summer after his former college shut down due to financial reasons.

Warnock said he was shocked to hear the news.

“I’m obviously disappointed in how it was handled, how much our debt was and how it was just kind of sprung on us,” Warnock said.

But he found the silver lining.

“I don’t think the fit (at St. Joseph’s was) 100 percent right for me,” Warnock said. “When I visited Kent, I knew right when I visited the fit was right.”

Warnock was part of the offensive line at LaPorte High School in LaPorte, Indiana, that went to the State Championship finals in 2014 and achieved a 347-yard average and 41 touchdown total in 2015.

Warnock will study exercise science and physiology at Kent State.

The coaches were a large factor in Warnock’s decision to transfer to Kent State.

“Coach (Rob) Zeitman, my offensive line coach, was a great host,” Warnock said. “He showed me around … answered my questions perfectly and I can’t wait to get under his direction for football.”

For Warnock, the transfer to Division 1 Kent State was a dream come true.

“(To come to a division I school) is a big goal that I’ve had for a long time,” Warnock said. “I feel that it’s a goal that every young football player dreams of having one day. I’m extremely grateful and excited that I have the opportunity to make something of myself at that level.”

Warnock also received scholarship offers from upper-level division II schools Grand Valley State University and Ashland University. He said he was waiting for offers from the University at Buffalo and Purdue University, but didn’t want to hold out too long and risk his full ride at Kent State.

“I knew my fit was right, and it was the perfect college for me,” Warnock said.

Warnock said his biggest football inspiration is Trevor Sales, a former LaPorte, Indiana, resident and University at Buffalo football player, who tried out for the Cleveland Browns but was unable to make the team.

“(Sales) came back, and I trained with him for a little while,” Warnock said. “Getting to talk to him and know him for a while showed me the kind of player that it takes to make it at that level. A small-time kid just making it that far is pretty impressive.”

Warnock said he would love to be a strength and conditioning coach after his Kent State career.

“I’ve always been into athletics and lifting (weights), so I wouldn’t want to just give that up right away,” Warnock said.

Kent State starts its season against National Championship winners Clemson University on Sat., Sept. 2.

William Kovach is a sports reporter, contact him at [email protected].