A strong connection between a pair of former Nebraska coaches could help land Yanda in Ames. ISU offensive coordinator and line coach Barney Cotton coached alongside current NIACC head man Dave Gillespie, the running backs in Lincoln the previous five seasons.
"(Marshall) has visited personally with Barney," said Gillespie. "I know Marshall thinks very highly of him, and I think Barney thinks highly of Marshall. I have no doubt that they certainly could develop a strong relationship."
Yanda might have been a Cyclone two seasons ago after performing well at summer padded camp, but was not offered and ended up at NIACC as a non-qualifier. The sophomore is now ahead of pace to get his A.A. degree and will be eligible to transfer at mid-year.
Gillespie has no doubts that Yanda will be an impact player at the next level.
"I think he's definitely a Division I player," NIACC's head coach said. "He has all the tools you're looking for in an offensive lineman. He's very aggressive, stays on his feet, is strong, and uses his hands well. Those are all of the things you look for in an offensive lineman. He could certainly be a very successful part of any Division I team.
"He's had a great year for us. He's come out every game and been a dominant player. Game in and game out, he's shown he's certainly a Division I player, and is certainly the anchor of our offense."
Much of Yanda's recruiting interest has come in-state, says Gillespie.
"There has been a lot of interest and a lot of people asking for tape and asking about him," Gillespie said. "Certainly the schools here in the state have shown a great deal of interest – Iowa State, Iowa, and Northern Iowa. I think he'll have a lot of opportunities."