With the graduation of running backs Akeem Shavers and Ralph Bolden looming, a 2013 Purdue football recruit expects to compete for carries as a true freshman.
Lake Central running back David Yancey plans to graduate high school in December and enroll at Purdue in January.
“My intention is to ... go out from day one and work out my hardest, every single day in the weight room on the field and in the classroom,” Yancey said. “However it goes, it goes, but I would love to start for Purdue my freshman year.”
Yancey has been one of the most productive rushers in Indiana the past two years, totaling 2,718 and 33 touchdowns, despite taking significant snaps at quarterback as a junior.
“I would say that I am fast. I know the game well, and I have great vision,” Yancey said. “That’s what a lot of people say about me.”
Due to a team need, Yancey stepped out of his comfort zone and played six games at quarterback for Lake Central as a junior, completing 49 of 89 passes for 494 yards, nine touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Yancey said being thrust into the quarterback spot made him a better leader and allowed him to take on greater responsibilities.
“As a quarterback, you have to know how to be a leader in the huddle,” Yancey said. “It helped me to know how to take control of a game in a situation.”
Yancey returned to running back, the position Purdue is recruiting him for, his senior season and responded by rushing 150 times for 1,362 yards and 17 touchdowns in nine games.
“Running back is definitely a more natural position ... it fits my height and weight,” Yancey said. “A lot of times at quarterback, all I would do was just run. I can see better at the running back spot.”
Yancey’s senior season was cut short when he suffered a knee injury in Lake Central’s regular season finale. After compiling a 6-3 record in the regular season, Lake Central was knocked out in the second round of sectionals without Yancey.
Lake Central head coach Brett St. Germain said the loss of his heralded running back had a tremendous impact on his ball club.
“It’s hard not to look back and see what we could have accomplished with (Yancey) in there,” St. Germain said.
With a 5-11, 205 pound Big Ten running back frame, St. Germain believes Yancey could be in line for playing time early in his career.
“I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him play as a freshman,” St. Germain said.