Today’s lacrosse season preview article centered around Maryland’s Will Yeatman, who certainly passes the visual test for both a tight end and an attackman.
Good thing, then, that he’s a tight end and an attackman.
Well, an attackman only for now, and Yeatman seemed satisfied with that when I talked to him last week (in a mildly ironic twist, on national signing day for football).
Yeatman’s past is well known, and it was impossible to write this story without addressing his two 2008 alcohol-related arrests, though he was never charged in the second one. He didn’t hide from those issues —- and it’s clear that he really wanted to make things work out at Notre Dame, holds no animus toward the people at his old school and insists his coaches and teammates over both sports were extremely supportive.
That said, he’s at Maryland. And while some of you are intrigued by what he can do on a lacrosse field, it would be naive to think football won’t be an option at some juncture. And less than two minutes into our interview, I brought up that subject:
Q: The football issue is there as well. How do you look at that? Have you talked to Ralph [Friedgen] or James [Franklin]?
WY: I haven’t really talked —- I talked to coach Franklin. I haven’t really talked to football guys as much because to be quite honest, when I was going through the situation at Notre Dame, I really missed lacrosse. I was playing football and was around a lot of football, and I knew the one thing that was genuinely going to make me a happier person was playing lacrosse. That’s why when I decided to transfer here, I said ‘Obviously I can’t play football because of the one-time transfer policy,’ so I really wanted to focus on lacrosse.
I talked to coach [Dave] Cottle about that and about me playing lacrosse this spring and all of next year and how that would impact me as a player just being able to play that much more lacrosse. I thought that would be really beneficial for me from a lacrosse standpoint.
Other than that, I definitely want to play football here. I think I played in every game at Notre Dame, so I think and I hope they’d want me to play football here, too. Right now, my focus is on the sport of lacrosse and I couldn’t be any more excited about it.
Loosely translated: Check back in next year around this time to see if this idea is still percolating.
Yeatman can’t play football until 2010, and for the moment Maryland’s roster has plenty of tight end options for the long term (Lansford Watson, Devonte Campbell, Matt Furstenburg, perhaps even 2009 signee Dave Stinebaugh).
Still, it’s an intriguing on-campus possibility Friedgen and Franklin would only need to walk a short ways to get in touch with. Yeatman indeed played in 28 straight games to begin his career, and started six (including three last season).
Cottle had a potential All-American land on his doorstep less than two months ago. The football team might not be quite so fortunate, but a starting-caliber tight end isn’t a bad plausible avenue to eventually be able to take, even if it is a year down the road.
—- Patrick Stevens