- Associated Press - Friday, November 21, 2014

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Eventually, every volcano erupts.

It’s a matter of time and pressure. The clock ticks and the lava bubbles just below the surface. Days pass, and the pressure builds, and builds, and builds.

Then, when it can’t be contained any longer…


Wyoming junior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough has erupted in recent weeks, finally breaking through after weeks of patiently waiting.

For the first six games of the 2014 season, the 2013 All-Mountain West First team selection was held without a sack. Repeatedly, he was asked about the drought in post-game press conferences and media days.

“It’ll come,” he said with a relaxed grin.

“It’ll come.”

“It’ll come.”

Through the first half of his junior season, the 6-foot-3, 251-pound defensive end contributed 27 tackles, two tackles for loss, and zero sacks and forced fumbles.

A season after racking up 12.0 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, the disruptive plays weren’t coming.

Then, boom.

“Being 100 percent honest, the more I’m in this defense the more I’m starting to understand the concepts and the way it works, and what I’m allowed to do and able to do,” Yarbrough said. “At the beginning, it was a new defense, different schemes - different everything. I was kind of finding my way.

“But now my vision is starting to open up and I can see different things, and I feel like it’s starting to come together and make sense to me now.”

In his last four games, Yarbrough has exploded, racking up four sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss and one forced fumble. He has been a destructive staple in opponents’ backfields, ripping through offensive tackles and tight ends en route to the quarterback.

The added production, head coach Craig Bohl said, is a product of months of hard work finally spilling onto the field.

“Some guys, during the course of the season their strength level drops down. They become somewhat stagnant,” Bohl said. “That’s not been the case with Eddie.

“If you saw him practice, he practices 100 mph. He may practice as hard as any player I’ve ever had the opportunity to be around. So that effort is really having an impact on his performance.”

The recent surge is all the more impressive considering what’s happened around him. Throughout the last four games, fellow defensive ends Sonny Puletasi and Riley Lange have rarely played due to injuries. Junior Siaosi Hala’api’api and freshman Seth Edeen have been asked to carry more of the load.

Without the two senior defensive ends, it’s only natural that opposing offenses would key in more on Yarbrough.

But if they have, it certainly hasn’t worked.

Wyoming’s unfailingly-enthusiastic defensive end with the big smile and constant motor didn’t get discouraged when six games came and went without a single measly sack to show for it.

Instead, he kept chipping away. It was a matter of time and pressure.

And eventually, boom.

“It feels amazing,” Yarbrough said. “But what my coaches in high school used to say is that the one thing that is tried and true is hard work. If you keep working hard and keep grinding, eventually you’re going to break through and something good is going to come of it.

“So even when the chips are down, I still have to work.”


Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, https://www.trib.com

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