Commitment #23* OT David Yankey

In a very "big" pick-up, both literally and figuratively, Stanford landed a mission-critical commitment from 280-pound Georgia OT David Yankey, who on Monday chose the Cardinal over Duke and a host of top programs throughout the south. A weekend visit to Palo Alto apparently went well enough for the academically rock-solid young man to pull the trigger. Read on for his thoughts from Sunday night.

Commitment #23* OT David Yankey

Editor's Note: Andy was all over this one. The following interview actually took place Sunday night before young Yankey had gone public with his decision to commit to Stanford. (* = an "ever-in-flux" commitment total)

BeforeCentennial High School offensive tackle David Yankey flew out to Stanford for the Cardinal's junior day this past weekend, he had heard plenty about the school's sterling academic reputation, its scenic campus, and its improving football team.


But what Yankey didn't know until he actually stepped foot on campus was if he would feel comfortable spending four or five years of his life playing football so far away from his home in Roswell, Georgia (the very same hometown as former Cardinal LB/DE Emmanuel Awofadeju, though the two attended different high schools) .


"I already knew it was a great school, the football isn't too bad out there, and it has a great environment and beautiful campus," Yankey said. "The biggest sense I got coming out there though is that it's also a great community. They're going to take care of you and everyone seemed genuinely nice and happy to be at Stanford. I think I could [envision myself attending school there.]"


Yankey was surprised to learn that the Stanford football community wasn't just comprised of the players and coaches.

"It was pretty cool because out there you get a real sense of community with the team and the coaches and then also the professors," Yankey said. "I was surprised to see that the professors honestly liked the student-athletes and they were talking with us and interacting."


After flying into the Bay Area late Thursday night with his mom, Yankey arrived on campus early Friday morning for a welcome breakfast with some members of the current Stanford team, including freshman quarterback Josh Nunes.


"When we had breakfast one of the incoming freshman Josh Nunes was there and we got to talk because he was sitting right next to me," Yankey said. "He was nice and a really cool guy and it was just funny - like a lot of the classes we had taken throughout high school had been the same so far. We both had good academics and good football and a lot of people are like that on the team."


After breakfast Yankey and the other recruits took a tour of the campus and listened to speeches by head coach Jim Harbaugh and members of the admissions office before heading to lunch, which Yankey thought was the highlight of his trip.


"When we had lunch we ate with the professors," Yankey said. "I was sitting next to a professor of biology. He actually had worked a lot personally on disproving the myth that diet and exercise help lower cholesterol and he helped develop drugs like Lipitor. That was crazy to think how much he has influenced the world and that he's a professor at Stanford. All of the Stanford professors are like that - they're all doing crazy stuff."


After lunch, the recruits were toured around the football facilities and then participated in a light hour-and-a-half workout where Yankey got to spend some one-on-one time with Cardinal offensive line coaches Greg Roman and Tim Drevno.


"I liked both of the offensive line coaches," Yankey said. "The coaches said a lot of stuff that other schools have told me. Not only do they want me, they need me. They need offensive tackles because they already have inside guys taken care of and they'd love to have me."


With the Stanford visit now over, Yankey plans to continue training for the upcoming football season while he mulls over his list of potential college destinations [Now of course narrowed down to his final choice: Stanford].


"I'm kind of just going to be gearing up for the football season and trying not to think about recruiting too much, but also spending time considering my options and just weighing all of the possibilities," Yankey said. "I have to sit down with my family and talk about what's important to me, where I want to go, where I feel comfortable, and stuff like that."

 

At this point in the recruiting process, Yankey has narrowed his list down to five schools, but does not [did not] have a timeline for to make a commitment.


"My top couple of schools would probably be Stanford, Duke, Wake Forest , and then Florida and Georgia I guess," Yankey said. "I've told most people I'd probably make a decision later, but whenever it happens it happens. I'll know when I'm comfortable with a school and that's probably when I'll do it."


Yankey comes from an academically-oriented family (his parents' two favorite schools are Duke and Stanford) and he lists academics as one of the key factors in picking a school.


"I want a good academic school and a good football school," Yankey told The Bootleg in this May 3 story. "I've got to like the coaches and obviously I'd like to win as well."


Stanford, then, seems like a good fit for the Australian-born lineman.


"They're high on my list right now because they seem to be a great fit for me," Yankey said. "They have great academics, great football, and a good environment. It's a pretty campus but I'm not sacrificing for that and in general everything is just really enticing."


Should Yankey commit to Stanford, he should be a virtual lock to pass through the school's admissions process with a 1310 two-part SAT and a numeric GPA of 90.

A three-star prospect. Yankey is rated the 44th-best ofensive tackle prospect in the 2010 class by Scout.com. He is evaluated similarly by another occasionally-referenced site that covers college recruiting.


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