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Player Interview: Quarterback Emmanuel Yeager

NFL

Player Interview: Quarterback Emmanuel Yeager


TSJ Sports was able to talk with Quarterback Emmanuel Yeager from Virginia University – Lynchburg, as he prepares for the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft.

At 6’1, 190 pounds, Yeager was the best quarterback at the NFL Regional Combine in Washington, on February 25, 2017. Yeager was a stand-out in high school, leading Coolidge High School in Washington, DC to a state championship.

He was invited to play in the National All Star Game, but hesitated and his spot was given to Aaron Murray, also now in the NFL.

There is not much film on Yeager, as he has transferred schools several times, but according to his agent, Brad Berkowtiz, Yeager excelled at the NFL Regional combine and received compliments from numerous scouts in attendance.

Who were your role models growing up?

EY: Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. My mother was an influential role model in my life.

When did you first start playing football?

EY: In 1998, for the Marshall Heights Bisons, Washington, DC. My mom put the football in my hand. She showed me “1994 Joe Montana Football” on Sega Genesis. My mother was a 49ers fan and my dad was a cowboys fan. They would always go back and forth over football. My mother was the first person to show me how to hold a football correctly.

You originally committed to Central Michigan, can you take me through what happened and why you ultimately did not attend?

EY: Originally committed to Central Michigan. Butch Jones recruited me, personally. I received a hand written letter from Coach Jones. I attended the “5 star Chippawa day”, where I met coach Jones. I loved his energy, but I was told that I was not going to be a starter there.

I later decided to go to University of Illinois. I was just excited by everything. The coach went to my high school. Then, I was ready to commit to Louisville. I had a lot of offers.

I was pulled in so many different directions. I wound up de-committing from Central Michigan. I attended the “Big Time Show Case” at Rutgers University. Tom Savage was there.

I walked away with overall MVP and offensive MVP. The coach at Illinois went to New Mexico. I did not have much coaching guidance at my high school. I did not realize that by committing and de-committing that it would have a negative affect on me. I was just overwhelmed and really excited!

What will an NFL team get when selecting you?

EY: They will get a leader. A coachable player who loves the game like he loves living. A competitor. A student of the game. Somebody who has on a championship on every level, by the grace of God.

A tenacious player who will get the job done. I will mirror what the coaches want on the field. I love this game. I have a chip on my shoulder that needs to be eaten.

Who did you model your game after?

EY: As a gun-slinger, Brett Favre. But I feel like Steve Young, due to my mobility. Steve McNair. Donovan McNabb. My coach says I’m animated. I try to deceive a defense and look off coverage like Peyton Manning did for so many years.

What was it like being from the East coast and making the trip out to New Mexico for college ball?

EY: Initially had a lot of anxiety. I am family oriented. I wanted to be further away, though. I wanted to experience a different way of living.

Is quarterback the only position that you can play?

EY: I love this game so much. I am a pure quarterback. With the proper coaching, I will flourish. But I will play anywhere on the field.

I played Safety in high school. When playing defense, I enjoy reading the offense almost as much as I like reading the defense at quarterback.

What have you been doing to train for the draft?

EY: Lots of Calisthenics. Military workouts, throwing drills,  ladder drills and plyometrics. Working out with my receiver Ronald Green. I was not in the best shape in my life for the combine.The film you saw at the combine, you will see better numbers.

What have you been doing to prepare mentally?

EY: Soul searching and reflection. I try not to dwell on mistakes or mishaps. God wouldn’t bring me this far. I am spiritual. I look back at my testimony. God made all of this happen for a reason.

What drives you?

EY: I grew up in poverty. I have lived in a shelter. I do this for mother, my son, my sister, my family. My mother made me scrapbooks every year that I played.

My mother pushed me. We barely had money to pay electricity bills and she was focused on driving me to 3 day camps in Maryland.

I want my son to grow up in a better situation than I did.

 

Final take

In just this brief conversation with Emmanuel, I could sense in his voice how badly he wants this dream to come true. He told me that he has been counted out and he is used to being the underdog. When he lost his mother, he told me that a lot of people gave up on him.

He wants to be successful for her, his family, and his child. I had a wonderful experience interviewing Emmanuel. He is somebody that you can root for to accomplish their dream of becoming a professional athlete.