Middletown South senior James Wilson III, one of the top returning linemen in the Shore Conference, verbally committed to Youngstown State on Thursday, according to his father.

The 6-foot-5, 285-pound Wilson chose Youngstown State over offers from Monmouth University, Fordham University, St. Francis (Pa.), Old Dominion and Sacred Heart. He is a leader on a veteran offensive line for the Eagles, who opened the season with a 56-0 victory over Marlboro and face South Brunswick, a top 15 team in the state, in a nonconference clash at home on Friday night. He projects to play tackle for Youngstown State, and currently starts at left guard for the Eagles.

Middletown South senior offensive linemen James Wilson III is pictured during his visit to his future home, Youngstown State, during a visit this summer. (Photo courtesy of James Wilson Jr.)

"The coaches up there (at Youngstown State) have something that we carry here, and that's a chip on their shoulder,'' Wilson said in the preseason. "We always play with a chip on our shoulder. Those guys out there said, 'We don't do those Rivals.com rankings and all that, we go by what we see you are and how you are as a player, and we can see you're a hungry guy. We can see that you're out there trying to prove someone wrong.'

"That's what this season is about is proving someone wrong. I'm hungry this year."

Youngstown State is currently ranked No. 16 in the country in the latest FCS coaches' poll. Since the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) was created in 1978, the Penguins are second all time with four national championships, which came under former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel.

A three-year starter for the Eagles, Wilson becomes the second FCS recruit among Shore Conference offensive linemen this year, joining Red Bank Catholic senior Ryan Kroeger, who is headed to Fordham. The lone FBS recruit among linemen from the Shore is Barnegat senior Sam Madden, who is verbally committed to Wisconsin.