He's kind of like a recruit from our own campus, said Friedgen. He plays attack on the lacrosse team, and he's probably 6'5, 6'6 about 265, so it shows you his athleticism.
Yeatman, who was originally recruited by Maryland out of high school, played parts of three seasons at Notre Dame, compiling only 8 receptions for 43 yards. However, he was primarily used as a blocker as a freshman in 2006 and played behind former Notre Dame and current Seattle Seahawks tight end John Carlson in his first two seasons with the Irish, which diminished his chances to be a main target in the passing game.
Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator James Franklin is very excited to add Yeatman to the fold as both a receiver and a blocker.
He played as a freshman at Notre Dame, so I think he's going to be a big factor, said Franklin. And I'm also thinking that he's going to be able to really help us and solidify some of our inexperience at O-line, because when you have a guy who's 6-foot-6, 265 pounds playing tight end he can be a physical presence as a blocker, and he does have very good hands and athleticism.
As much as Franklin is excited to add Yeatman's size and athleticism, he is also looking forward to having an experienced tight end to lead an inexperienced group at the position that includes redshirt sophomore Devonte Campbell and redshirt junior Lansford Watson, who combined for twelve receptions in 2009.
So maybe he's next to a redshirt freshman at tackle. That's different than when Devonte was a redshirt freshman last year playing tight end next to another kid who was inexperienced, said Franklin. Now you got a big physical kid who's played in big games before right next to maybe a kid who's a little less experienced.
Yeatman last played football in the 2008 season, when he appeared in three games with Notre Dame. However, Franklin is not concerned about him being rusty or out of shape.
It's not like the last year he's been sitting on the couch and eating bon-bons, he said. He's been playing lacrosse at probably one of the premiere lacrosse institutions in the country. And there's a lot of carryover again, in terms of speed and athleticism and those types of things.
Franklin added that he believes the time away from the game has made Yeatman more motivated as he plans his return to the gridiron.
Now I think he had a great lacrosse experience. He's going to have another really good lacrosse experience this year, said Franklin. He's more motivated right now than he's ever been from a football perspective and he knows he's got a chance to play at the next level.