Welcome to the newest edition of Cerda-Fied Talks. Recently I covered outside linebacker Jakob Yandell out of Allen, Texas which you can read here.
I was lucky enough to catch up with him and chat for awhile. I learned that, like myself, he loves spending time in the state of California and hopes to one day live there.
Jeff Cerda: Hello Jakob, I’d like to first thank you for your time and congratulate you on your commitment to the Bobcats.
Jakob Yandell: Yeah no problem, happy to answer some questions for you and thank you!
JC: When was the first timeÂ you started playing football?
JY: I started playing football when I was in the 4th grade.(9 years old)
JC: That is a pretty long time playing footbal. Up to this point, what is your favorite sports memory?
JY: I would have to say my favorite sports memory was from baseball my sophomore year. I wentÂ in as a DH in the bottom of the sixth inning and hit the game winning RBI that brought in 2 runners.
JC: What position do you play in baseball?
JY: I have played mainly outfield in high school, but I used to play everywhere except first base.
JC: How long have you played baseball?
JY: I have played since I was in the first grade, however, I stopped playing last year to focus more on football. I decided I wanted a future with football instead of baseball.
JC: Who would you say is your all time favorite coach to play for? And why?
JY: My favorite coach I have played for was my 8th grade basketball coach, Coach Campbell. When the game was on the line, he always trusted me to make something happen.
JC: Any pregame rituals?
JY: No, I do not have any pregame rituals.
JC: Are there any song(s) get you hyped for games?
JY: Yeah, three of them. Pretender by The Foo Fighters, Run to the Hills by Iron Maiden, Forever by Drake.
JC: Do you have any favorite athlete(s)?
JY: In no particular order, Nolan Ryan, Jason Kidd and Ray Lewis.
JC: Do you have any influence on the number you wear?
JY: I wear 13 because ever since I can remember playing sports, that’s always the number I have been.
JC: WhoÂ motivates you to play better?
JY: My entire team motivates me to play better. We all have the same goal in mind, we work together in the summer every morning, getting better. Being surrounded by people with the same goal in mind is my motivation.
JC: Do you play any other sports? If so, what have you learned from them that you apply to football?
JY: I run track and throw discus. I did play baseball and basketball as well. I would say part of my physicality came from basketball.
JC: What made you decide to chooseÂ Texas State?
JY: Well, they were my first Division 1 offer.Â My teammate JT committed before I did, and the staff and players are very accepting of new players.
JC: I saw that you posted that you picked up an offer from Sam Houston State.Â Does this mean your recruitment process is not over? Or do you plan on sticking with your commitment to Texas State?
JY: I still have my senior season to play out, so I’ll see what it goes from there. But for now and as I see it, I will be attending Texas State in 2016.
JC: Is there any school that would make you consider changing your mind if they made you an offer?
JY: Well let me first say that what really hooked me on Texas State was when I visited, I saw the team praying together, being a family. I loved that about them. But my dream is to live in California.Â
JC: I wouldn’t mind living there one day myself. Besides football, what else do you enjoy doing?
JY: I enjoy listening to music, reading, and physical fitness.
JC: Tell me what is the best advice you have ever been given thus far?
JY: â€œDon’t be satisfied with good enough, strive for greatnessâ€-Stephen Baca. That is also a quote that I live by.
JC: So tell me what the transition was like from not having Kyler Murray and Jaylen Guyton, those are two impact players, has it been a smooth transition or were there trials during the transition?
JY: With Seth moving in from Minnesota, and with 2 handfuls of receivers that I can rely on to make a play, so that makes it easier.Â
JC: Last season, your team completed a 3-Âpeat for state titles, what do you have to do to make this 4 in a row? And will it be done?
JY: We’re going to take each game 1 at a time, studying each team each week like we’ve done in the past. It’s worked 3 years in a row, now we’re striving for the 4th.Â I think we will be great this year.Â
JC: Allen has outscored opponents 145-Â65 in the last 3 championship games, a very impressive feat. This is supposed to be the very best versus the best and I’m not saying it’s not, but I want to know what is it that makes your team outplay teams by this margin?
JY: We’re in the film room nearly everyday, practicing everyday, going home and watching film on hudl every night. I believe that it’s these little things that separate us from the rest.
JC: Besides the repeat, what are some of your team goals? How about personal goals this season?
JY: We all have the same goal in mind, and that is to be State Champions again. My personal goal this year is to lead the team in tackles.
JC: What other position would you want to play besides OLB? I know you played a little quarterback too, so how about we exclude that from your choices too.
JY: I played a little DE, and I’m also interested in playing some at safety.
JC: So your team played every game on the road last year, what was that like not having a home game at all last season?
JY: It didn’t phase us. We would show up to most of our games last season, and still have more fans than the other teams we played.
JC: Which game are you most looking forward to this season?
JY: Denton Guyer, Game 1.
JC: Alright, I know its summer break, so I will let you get back to enjoying your break. Enjoy your time in Laguna Beach and again, I thank you for your time and wish you luck on your upcoming season. I look forward to watching you play.
JY: Yeah no problem, definitely going to work on my tan in California! Thank you so much for having me on the show, it was fun!