Monday, December 19, 2005

Combo Athlete | by Pat

Coach Weis and the Fighting Irish football team gained another football recruit last week when Will Yeatman verbally committed to Notre Dame. But in a unique twist to the standard recruiting story, Yeatman committed to Coach Corrigan and the ND lacrosse program.

“I’m excited to be part of he program,” Will Yeatman said of his decision to come to Notre Dame. “I committed to coach Corrigan.

It’s funny I haven’t even talked to coach Weis yet. I’m going to call him in a little bit. He’ll probably read your article before I even talk to him.
A standout in both lacrosse and football, Yeatman plans on playing both sports at Notre Dame, but is coming into the University on a lacrosse scholarship. An All-American attackman in lacrosse and a tight end in football, Yeatman had scholarships from across the country from schools hoping he would choose them for either lacrosse, football, or both. The 6'6 255lb San Diego athlete ultimately narrowed down his list to Notre Dame and Maryland, his mother's alma mater, before selecting the Irish. As a football recruit, Yeatman drew offers from Nebraska, Michigan, Maryland, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Boston College, Duke, and North Carolina.

In the end, the offer from Notre Dame to play both sports was enough to sway Yeatman to come to South Bend.
"It's a great fit," Yeatman said. "Notre Dame is a great academic institution and it has a rich athletic tradition. I'm really excited about the prospect of playing there."
Yeatman was recruited to Notre Dame as a tight end, but other schools saw him as a possible offensive lineman. For now it's safe to assume that Yeatman will stay at tight end, especially if he keeps up with the lacrosse as it can't be too easy to gain the weight needed for offensive line when you are running around as much as the average lacrosse player. Yeatman recognizes this and highlights the positives of his multi-sport cross training.

"Lacrosse is a great sport to help with my footwork (in football)," Yeatman said. "Maybe, too, the physical nature of football can help out in lacrosse."
The expected route for Yeatman from lacrosse recruit to football tight end is a bit roundabout due to NCAA regulations on how scholarships can be awarded. Since Yeatman is coming into Notre Dame on a lacrosse scholarship, he can practice, but not play with the football team in the fall. In the spring, he will play with the lacrosse team during their regular season. However, the following fall in what will be his sophomore year, Yeatman will have his scholarship moved from a lacrosse scholarship to a football scholarship. At this time he will be free to play for the football team, as well as the lacrosse team. His scholarship though will count in the 85-scholarship limit placed on the football team.

In the meantime however, Yeatman's scholarhip will not count against the 25 per class scholarship limit imposed by the NCAA. This means that the signing of the future tight end will not affect the number of offers left for the recruiting class of 2006.