Yankey: "And Now, The Rest of the Story"

The Bootleg's Andy Drukarev checks back with Monday's exciting 2010 OT prize, Georgia's David Yankey, bringing us the background circumstances of the big fella's commitment. While young Yankey's decision to head west was not in itself particularly shocking, the timing of his post-visit announcement certainly came as a pleasant surprise for the Stanford staff and for legions of Cardinal faithful!

Yankey: And Now, The Rest of the Story

The addition of Georgia offensive lineman David Yankey to Stanford's 2010 recruiting class is not one that Cardinal fans should take lightly. An elite recruit at a position of particularly dire need for Stanford, young Mr. Yankey turned down offers from many of the nation's elite football programs in committing to Cardinal.

Earlier today (Tuesday), The Bootleg's Andy Drukarev caught up with the three-star recruit to get the inside story behind his exciting decision to commit to Stanford.

The Bootleg: When exactly did you make your final decision?

David Yankey: I think it was about this time yesterday. It was early afternoon.

TB: Whom did you call on the Stanford coaching staff to break the news?

DY: I called Coach Harbaugh. He was really happy and said he was excited because I think they didn't think I was going to commit [so quickly]. He was just really happy and we talked for a few minutes because he was actually taking his daughter to a doctor's appointment. He was just really excited I was coming out there and he said I was going to be great and all sorts of stuff like that.

TB: How do you feel after making such a big decision?

DY: Today I'm feeling really good about it. I feel like I definitely made the right decision. I'm happy that I'm going to Stanford. The biggest thing that I'm telling everyone is with all the opportunities I saw at Stanford I felt that if I didn't go there I could possibly regret that decision for the rest of my life. I just decided it was the place for me and I'm happy.

TB: Why did you feel that Stanford was the best fit for you?

DY: I think it's a great school that has a beautiful campus, really good academics, and good football. You don't have to sacrifice a lot. There's a sense of community not just on the football team but also with the coaches and even the professors. We got to have lunch with them and they actually like student-athletes and everyone just seems really happy to be at Stanford and it seems like they're doing things right. It's exciting to be a part of it.

TB: Why did you feel that now was the appropriate time for you to make a verbal commitment?

DY: Because, like I said earlier, I felt like if I didn't go there I'd regret it forever. After that visit I was just blown away. I didn't want to lead other schools on so I just wanted to come out and tell everyone this is it for me. No other school could really impress me as much as they did, I guess.

TB: Is it kind of a relief to have the recruiting process done with now?

DY: Yes sir, it's definitely a relief. The calls aren't too bad - they're a little bit more sparse now, but one of the most annoying things is the mail that just comes everyday. You feel obligated to read it because it's rude to just not open it at all so that's definitely a hassle. The whole recruiting process was fun for a while but I'm glad it's over now.

TB:  Had Stanford been your favorite school for a while or did they only start to really stand out after you visited?

DY: They were always in my top schools, but I couldn't really make a decision because I had met a lot of the other coaches from other schools a lot more. [Running backs Coach Willie] Taggart came out to my school once and [Offensive line Coach Greg] Roman came out once so I had only met two coaches and heard that it was a really pretty campus, a good school, and all sorts of stuff like that. I had definitely heard a lot great things about them beforehand and then when I went out there it just kind of confirmed it in my mind that Stanford was it for me.

TB: What were some of the other schools you visited unofficially?

DY:  In the past few months I've been to Georgia, South Carolina, UNC, Wake Forest, Duke and then also Georgia Tech. Earlier I visited Florida and Tennessee – I've been to a lot of places.

TB: So I'd guess after taking all those trips you kind of knew what you were looking for when you took your visit to Stanford?

DY:  I think that was the biggest thing. I've been on so many visits already and I know there are things that you like and things that you don't like. Usually I don't see a lot of things I don't like but when I went to take the Stanford trip I already had a lot of experience with visits. I had already been recruited by a lot of coaches and I had heard all the recruiting talk and all kinds of stuff like that. Stanford was just completely different than everyone else. It was a surprise and I feel like because I had gone to so many schools before, I knew that Stanford was the one when I was there.

TB: Did Stanford's lack of depth in the offensive tackle position and the possibility of earning early playing time play into your decision at all?

DY: It's not that big of a factor. I mean I'm still going to redshirt most likely and playing early wasn't something that played a big role in my decision. I mean playing time obviously in the end does matter because you obviously want to play junior and senior years, but I do understand it's college football and it takes a couple of years to get used to. Getting thrown in early is fun but it's not part of my decision.

TB: How did your parents react to your decision?

DY: They were happy because it's a great academic school and they were like "that's all we can really ask for". I'm going to one of the best schools in the nation for free so my parents are really content with my decision as well.

TB:  We know that you were really high on the Duke football program and were strongly considering them as a college choice. Would say the Blue Devils were the most difficult program for you to turn down?

DY: Yes sir. I think it was just because I formed a pretty good relationship with the coaches like [Offensive Coordinator Matt] Luke and [Head Coach David] Cutcliffe. The Duke coaches actually know and are buddies with some of the coaches on my high school staff. There's a lot of trust there as well because my coaches knew the Duke coaches are good guys knew and wouldn't treat me badly or anything. My coaches knew the Duke staff was being honest and knew they really wanted me and it's a great school as well. I liked all of my visits out there and if it wasn't for Stanford I probably would have gone to Duke so it was definitely the hardest to turn down.

TB: Why did you end up choosing Stanford over Duke then?

DY: Like I said it's just the unique opportunities Stanford provides. I've been to so many other places I knew what I like and with Stanford it didn't seem like anything could be wrong on the trip. The only thing that you could really possibly say against Stanford at least for me is distance, but not to go somewhere with a great opportunity to play football and to learn just because of a four-hour plane ride then is kind of stupid.

TB: But still, does the distance factor concern you at all?

DY: I'm not really worried because my parents taught me to be pretty independent and I was born in Australia. I've actually got a pretty international background, so that also makes it exciting to go to Stanford.

TB:  When did you move to the United States?

DY:  I was eight-years-old. I actually remember a good bit from Australia.

TB: Did part of your attraction to Stanford maybe have to do with California and the Bay Area being a more "international" environment than some of the other schools you were considering?

DY: Yea, I definitely believe that. Part of that is because Stanford is on the coast and the culture out there is a lot more like Australia and it's a lot more international because of people coming in and out. Atlantais more landlocked a bit more "Southern". like you said.

TB: What are you most looking forward to about living in California?

DY:  I don't know - that's hard to say. I'm just excited about going to Stanford I guess.

TB:  Outside of football do you participate in an extra curricular activities that you plan on continuing in your time at Stanford?

DY:  Well I'm in Student Venture and I'll be joining Campus Crusades when I'm over there. I also just like playing basketball for fun and stuff like that... and hanging out, I guess.

TB: Do you have any plans to try to get in touch with other Stanford recruits?

DY: (2010 WR verbal) Tai-ler Jones' father and my father have talked and we also know each other through a mutual friend Martin Jenkins who just recently committed to Clemson. We're probably going to meet up sometime because we're all in Georgiaand Martin goes to my school. I've also been texting and talking with some of the other commits and some of the guys who are at Stanford right now.

TB: What are your plans for the rest of the summer?

DY:  Well, we just finished our summer workouts so just to relax for about a week and then football practice starts. A week after that school starts so there's not really much time to do much, I guess.

TB: What are some of your goals for your senior year?

DY:  I just want to go out well. I want to have a good football season. I want to go out, knock some heads, win some games, and then go out and have a good academic senior year and make it a good end to high school.

TB:  What is your strategy going to be for completing the Stanford application?

DY:  I want to get it soon. All I have to do is send in my senior schedule and tell them what that is and then they're going to send me the application. I'm not worried about it at all, but it will be nice just to get it done.

TB: What do you see as the future of Stanford football over the next few years?


DY:  I think with some of the guys they have now and especially with the recruiting class they're getting there's a lot of good guys. I really think we can win a lot of games and make a change in the Pac-10 at the very least.

TB:  How solid is your commitment to Stanford?

DY:  For me, in my mind, it's final. I'm not considering anyone else anymore. The whole recruiting process and whole decision-making process is done. I'm happy with the school I chose. Like I said, I've been to a lot of places, just comparing them, and Stanford is where I want to go. That's it, end of story, I guess.

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