'06 Unwrapped: Austin Yancy

No state produces more Division I football players than Texas, and Stanford has found its share of top student-athletes in the Lone Star State through the years. Texas is teeming with talent again in this 2006 class, though some players fly under the radar amidst their highly publicized brethren. Southeast of Houston you'll find wide receiver Austin Yancy, who is looking to break out after his school's train wreck of a 2004 season.

What is less fun than an 0-10 football season?

How about being a wide receiver on that team... in a run-first, run-second offense.

"My junior season we were primarily a running team.  There really wasn't much passing," says Austin Yancy.  "There were a lot of rollouts, though, so I did a lot of blocking.  I think that helped my overall game."

Yancy caught a total of seven passes for 65 yards in 2004 at League City (Tex.) Clear Creek High School.  But he is most disappointed over his team's record that fall.

"That was really tough.  I'm not a big fan of losing.  But it got us a lot of experience - we had a lot of sophomores and juniors," he reflects.  "Going 0-10 tests your character.  I've tried to be a leader to help us through it.  In the huddle, or anywhere, I try to get everybody working hard in all our workouts.  And I lead by example, too.  It can't just be a bunch of words; everyone needs to look at you and see you get down in it yourself."

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel for Yancy and Clear Creek, however.  A new coaching staff is in place, and with that has come a new offense.  The Wildcats will throw the ball much more in 2005, employing four-wide and five-wide sets as part of the offense.  This spring, the gears started in motion.

"There wasn't a lot to adjust to," Yancy describes.  "That's what you do as a receiver - you catch the ball.  This offense feels real smooth."

"I'm going to have a lot more touched in this offense," he adds.  "The philosophy the coaches are saying is that we will try to get the ball in the hands of our athletes.  Get it to our playmakers."

A three-sport athlete who also competes in basketball and track (high jump, triple jump and 400m), Yancy is just the athlete Clear Creek needs.  At 6'3.5", he runs a 4.55 40.  Perhaps that is why college coaches are showing interest, despite the dead weight he is carrying from the 2004 season.

"At first, that record and season hurt me a lot - without the stats, recognition or chance to show what I'm capable of," he laments.  "But the new coaches brought a lot of college scouts in the spring to our practices.  And they are sending out film from our spring, too."

Yancy does not yet have any scholarship offers, but he has caught the attention of some schools.  He says five schools who have recruited him more seriously are Stanford, Northwestern, Iowa, TCU and Rice.

"Stanford and Northwestern tend to stand out right now with how they've recruited me," Yancy maintains.  "They're both trying to get me to go to their camps.  I'm going Sunday to Stanford.  I have a prior commitment Saturday night, but I'll still be able to be out there three days.  For Northwestern, I'm going to a one-day camp at the end of July."

While he is hopeful that he can prove himself to the Cardinal and Wildcat coaching staffs, the Houston-area wideout is also looking to improve his craft.  "A lot of it is technique - running routes correctly and recognizing defenses," Yancy details.  "I'm also lifting weights and getting stronger."

The Clear Creek student-athlete may have something to show curious coaches on the field, but he has a stellar record on display on his transcript.  He holds down a 4.46 GPA and has scored a 29 on the ACT.  In March he took the new SAT and notched a 1930 (630/650/650).

We will have our eyes on Yancy when he camps with the Cardinal next week and bring you the latest on this Lone Star State sleeper.

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