Yeck Finishes Out Strong

BYU offensive line commit Michael Yeck finished off a successful senior campaign playing for Keller High School. Keller High is smack-dab in the middle of what many consider to be the toughest prep division in the nation. Being as such, Keller went head-to-head against some of the toughest prep competition in the nation and more than held his own.

"Yeah, we play some really tough opponents," said Michael Yeck. "Southlake Carroll of course is in our division, and some other really good teams [are as well]. Most of the [teams] we went against had a lot of their players with offers to play in college."

Yeck played left tackle for his team, which qualified for the state playoffs before being bounced in the first round. The 6-foot-8-inch, 275-pound Yeck towered over the competition, which helped him keep opposing pass-rushers at bay.

"I gave up two sacks all year," said Yeck. "One was a play where we just had a total miscommunication, leading to the sack, and the other I gave up against R.J. Washington, who is rated as one of the best defensive end recruits in the country."

Indeed, R.J. Washington - who is committed to sign a letter of intent with Oklahoma - brought a very good challenge with him. Despite the one sack given up against him, Yeck feels he did alright against one of the best in the nation.

"Man, [Washington] was really tough," said Yeck. "He's a total speed rusher, which makes him really tough to block. I had to be on my best to block him, and handled him pretty well except for that one sack I gave up."

Yeck said he feels that his pass-blocking and run-blocking got a lot better during his final season. He accomplished this by listening to coaches intently and staying after practices, and ended up logging more practice time than just about anyone else on the team.

"Our offensive line coach really works us hard," said Yeck. "We're always doing stuff before everyone else starts practicing, and we always stay later than anyone. He's demanding, but I love it. I'm all about hard work, since I know that it will make me a better player."

Yeck's hard work warranted him some attention from some of the top programs in the country, including Oklahoma, which came to evaluate him during some of Keller High's practice sessions.

"Oklahoma coaches gave me a call and wanted to know if I'd be interested if they offered," said Yeck. "I don't know if they would have offered if I would have said I was interested or not, but they seemed to like what they saw at practice."

Yeck, of course, committed to BYU early this past summer. It's a commitment Yeck has remained true to, rejecting other schools' offers.

"I just told Oklahoma coaches that I committed to BYU and I wasn't going to change my mind," said Yeck. "They respected that and didn't really talk to me after I told them. BYU is where I want to play. I'm totally sold on BYU being the best place for me."

Being out-of-state from BYU, Yeck - along with a horde of out-of-state BYU fans - has been frustrated with not being able to see BYU play most weeks. Despite that, Yeck has been able to catch some of the games when the Cougars play on Versus, and has made a couple of road trips.

"We drove up to Tulsa to watch the team play there, which was a lot of fun even though they lost," said Yeck. "We also went to the Colorado State game, which was a really good time. It was great seeing the team play at home with all the fans there. BYU has great fans."

Yeck was able to meet with the Cougar coaches, and felt right at home during what could be termed as an unofficial visit.

"Coach Weber joked with me during the game that I should get my pads on and get out there," said Yeck. "Man, I sort of wanted to. I can't wait to be a part of the BYU program."

Yeck will have to wait quite a while though before he straps on a BYU helmet, as he'll leave for a mission right out of high school.

"I turn 19 on September 25th [next year], so I plan on turning 19 while I'm in the MTC," said Yeck. "I'll come home, and almost for sure, I'll redshirt my first year and then I'll have four-straight years to play at BYU."

Yeck plans on being ready to contribute upon his return and has already made strides to prepare himself. As mentioned, Yeck has worked very hard on his technique, but has also logged a lot of time in the weight room.

"I'm really tall and lanky, so I have to work hard to put on weight," said Yeck. "I really worked hard on my squat, which I'm weak at because of my height and body-type. I went from being able to squat just 200 pounds to 265 during this past summer, [and also worked] on my bench press. There's guys on my team that can squat twice as much as me, so I have a long way to go."

Yeck's scholarship offer of course didn't come due to his lower-body strength or overall strength. Yeck is an imposing, towering force and has a huge wing-span that allows him to frustrate most opposing defensive linemen by just sticking his arms out at them while bouncing them outside.

"It's definitely a strength and an advantage," noted Yeck. "I have a long way to go and I have to get a lot better, but I have the height, which is a big advantage. I'll work as hard as I can while at BYU to become one of the best tackles they've ever had. I know how to work hard."

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