"I'm in the process of narrowing it down," Yarnway said. "I'm looking to make a decision soon, probably within the next few weeks. Recruiting is getting real business-like and more schools are looking to fill spots fast.
"Plus, I've been lucky because I've seen a lot of schools already and feel like I know them all pretty well," he said. "Official visits are great, but I think you get a more realistic view of college during an unofficial visit. You don't get wined and dined during an unofficial visit like you would an official."
Although Yarnway plans to make his commitment during the summer, he says he'd still be open to taking an official visit if a new school came into the picture. "If I got another offer from a school I haven't visited, I wouldn't be opposed to taking an official," he said. "It's still possible. But by committing early, I'm able to continue to build a better relationship with my coaches and just focus on my senior season."
Yarnway, Scout.com's No. 26 running back, has narrowed his choices down to California, Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA and Washington. He says Cal is now his top choice. The Bears hold a slim lead but Yarnway's top three (Cal, Oregon and Arizona State) are all very close.
"Cal has the best academics in the world," Yarnway said. "I have a great relationship with the coaches and it's just a comfortable place for me.
"It also seems like a great opportunity for me to come in and play early," he said of the Bears. "They have a slight lead.
One of the schools that Yarnway hasn't visited yet is UCLA and it sounds like the trip could be telling. "I'm going down there on Friday (June 27)," he said. "It should be a great experience. I'm going to be hanging out with (Bruin commitment) Richard Brehaut (quarterback from Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.). That should be a lot of fun."
Yarnway says UCLA offered him about three weeks ago and that Brehaut texted him shortly after. "He sent me a text to congratulate me," he said. "He says he's trying to get all the top guys to come to UCLA and we've been talking the past few weeks."
The UCLA coach who is recruiting Yarnway is (special teams) coach Frank Gansz, Jr.. "He said that I'm one of the most impressive backs he's ever seen on tape," Yarnway said. "He says that I can do it all.
"I'm really excited to get to know the coaches better," he said. "I'm also excited to see what they have in store for next season. The coaches have a lot of good history and experience and coach Rick Neuhesiel has done a great job recruiting. He's been getting a lot of commitments."
Besides the Bruins, Yarnway admits he's also particularly eager to see how Cal and Arizona State do next season and plans to follow them closely. "Cal is losing a lot of seniors from last season," he said.
"And Arizona State had a great season last year. It'll be interesting to see if they are a one-hit wonder. I doubt they are…they have great coaches there that know how to win. I think Arizona State will have another great season."
Another team he has high hopes for is Oregon. "They always have a great team," he said. "The coaches have been there for a long time and they are a winning program. I love the offense they run and I think I'd fit in great over there."
The only school in his top five that he hasn't visited yet and doesn't have a visit scheduled for is Washington. "If finances and time permit, I'll try to head up there," he said. "I really like the coaches. They seem very down-to-earth and I'm comfortable talking to them.
"I don't really know much about them, but I do know they led the league in rushing last year," he said. "I also like how they always compete hard and always have a tough schedule. I like competition."
Yarnway says that his family (mom and five sisters) will be very involved in helping him choose a program. "I'm very inclusive," he said. "My family plays a big part in my decision. I want them to feel just as comfortable with where I'm going as I do.
"I want my mom and sisters to feel okay about where I'm going and know that I'm going to be around good people," he said. "They want the best school for me academically, but they aren't telling me where to go."
Yarnway wants to major in business communications or journalism. He reports a 3.0 core GPA and took the SAT on June 7 and ACT on June 14.