May 14, 2009

Centennial OT gets first in-state offer

Georgia wants to bring in an athletic tackle or two for 2010 and Thursday targeted one of the state's best in Centennial's David Yankey.

Yankey had double digit-offers coming into the week, but from the two in state schools. That's since changed.

"Georgia was not really recruiting me really hard up until spring practice started. Coach (Stacy) Searels came up and watched me practice and a few days later they offered," Yankey told UGASports.

After getting early offers from schools like Duke and Florida, recruiting slowed down a bit for the talented lineman. A little more than a month ago Yankey was sitting on four scholarships, and now he has close to 15 in hand. The attention has caused Yankey to have to change his plans a little.

"Since spring started a bunch of colleges have come around, so all of the new offers are causing me to open it up a little more," said Yankey. "I am trying to stay away from favorites now as I see which ones are the best for me."

While nothing can surprise him anymore, the level-headed Yankey admits he is taken aback by all of the attention he has been getting this month.

"It has been pretty crazy, five separate colleges came by today alone, so I just try and focus on working out and practicing with the team," said Yankey.

One advantage Yankey has over other prospects is a clear unbiased mind when it comes to analyzing the schools involved. This is because the three-star prospect is not from Georgia, or even the United States for that matter.

"I came here from Australia almost 10 years ago, so I did not grow up with any favorite schools," Yankey said. "So it is really an even landscape as far as the colleges involved are concerned."

With the new offer comes a new opportunity for the rising senior. As more and more colleges offer, they also are jockeying for that all important visit as well. The Bulldogs will host Yankey at least once, and maybe more.

"I definitely want to visit Georgia now; I may not camp there since Coach Searels has seen me work out here at school," he said. "But if I do go to camp, it will just be to see how he coaches my position."

The offensive line coach at Georgia is known for his ability to develop an emerging talent like Yankey. That is just one of many reasons why the newest Bulldog target is eagerly anticipating his trip to Athens. He could go as early as next week.

"Searels seems like a pretty cool guy, I am looking forward to meeting him and Coach (Mark) Richt, and also seeing what it is like on campus," he said. "I have been to Georgia Tech, and I know Georgia wants me to head up there next week, possibly Thursday or Friday. When I see Athens and some other places during my officials I should be ready to make a decision."

That leads to another development in Yankey's recruitment: a change in his decision timeline.

"Before I thought I would be ready to commit before the season, now I am not really into the early decision. I will probably wait to commit after the season," Yankey revealed.

The Bulldogs program may not have that in state edge that they are used to with local talent, but they still stand out in Yankey's eyes. He weighed in with his thoughts on Georgia.

"I know Georgia is a good football program and a good school as well. It is obviously the biggest football program in the state," he said. "Tech is not as football-oriented as Georgia. I really want to check Georgia out and see if I like it."

Just two years ago, Yankey weighed in at only 220-pounds. Going into his senior year, he has put on solid 60-pounds of muscle. Yankey says the process is ongoing, and is a key reason why colleges have shown so much interest.

"I am 6-foot-5, 280-pounds, and my body continues to develop as my shoulders widen and I get naturally bigger and stronger as well," he said. "I continue to do speed and agility workouts as well to improve my footwork even more. A lot of coaches have said they are really excited to see how my frame fills out."

In the end, Yankey just wants what most prospects are looking for - a home away from home. Whether that school is Georgia or another college, Yankey hopes he can be successful in school and in life wherever he ends up.

"I just want a good fit overall, with a coaching staff and student body that I mesh well with," he said. "I hope to get a good education, on a nice campus, and just basically find a good place to live the next four years and win a lot of football games."

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