With a self-reported numeric GPA of 93 and two-part SAT score of 1370, Yankey wasn't exactly sweating the admissions process out, but says it was still a relief to be officially accepted into the university.
"I mean, I knew my grades and SAT score were definitely good enough to get in with the football," Yankey said. "It was still nice and, I guess, just a relief, because it's such a great school."
And while the three-star recruit hasn't been wavering on his late-July verbal commitment to the Card, receiving word of his acceptance allows Yankey to shut down his recruitment for all intents and purposes.
"I've told the coaches I'm 100 percent," Yankey said. "I know what my decision is. It's as good as done."
But Yankey hasn't shifted all of his attention to his next year quite yet. His Centennial High School football team finished the regular season with a record of 6-4 and has its first playoff game against Georgia powerhouse North Gwinnett High on Friday.
"They're undefeated right now and ranked No. 2 in state and ranked nationally," Yankey said. "We're actually pretty excited we have a shot at them, because we think we definitely have a good chance of doing some damage. It will be fun to hopefully knock off a one seed."
If Centennial is able to knock off North Gwinnett, Yankey's play will likely be a major reason why. The 6-foot-5, 285-pounder plays primarily left tackle and has done an solid job this year.
"My play has been pretty good," Yankey said. " I've had to adjust to wearing knee braces this year, because I'm a lot bigger and the coaches wanted me to be safe, especially after I sprained my MCL during spring practice this season. It was kind of hard adjusting to that at first but I've definitely been playing a lot better because I'm bigger but I'm still mobile."
Indeed, more than anything else, Yankey's size is what has allowed him to take the next step in his growth and development as a lineman. After playing his junior season at 240-245 pounds, Scout.com's No. 49 offensive tackle put in countless hours of work over the offseason to gain about 40 pounds of good weight.
"I'm playing at about 285 or 290 compared to last year when I was 240 or 245 towards the end of the season," Yankey said.
Yankey attributes that weight gain to a dramatic increase in upper-body strength.
"I guess before my strength was in my legs," Yankey said. "My upper body didn't develop really as much, but this offseason, my shoulders got a whole lot broader and I put on a lot of weight in the upper body."
Still, Yankey is cognizant of how far his game still needs to progress to be a starter at the Pac-10 level.
"The game is a lot faster and everyone's stronger," Yankey said. "[I need to improve] speed, strength, and footwork. They always talk about being a technician for a college offensive lineman, where every step is placed correctly and you have to react right to everything perfectly.
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