Tucked away in a corner somewhere is a collection of Matt Yemm’s childhood memories. In the middle of pictures and elementary school drawings is a simple piece of paper he once wrote down on what he wanted to do with his life.
“My wife and I were going through the things we’ve collected of Matt over the years,” said Steve Yemm, his father. “We found an essay that he wrote in probably second or third grade that said he wanted to play football for CSU.”
And today, Matt’s dream will come true when he signs his letter of intent to play for CSU along with 20 other high school recruits from throughout the country.
In a time when even college football seems to be turning away from traditional team emphasis, CSU continues to bring in recruiting classes filled with loyal unselfish players. It appears they have found another one in the homegrown Yemm.
This year’s senior student-body president of Fort Collins High School, Yemm was born and raised right in CSU’s backyard. After a senior season in which he threw for 1,904 yards and 16 touchdowns he heard from the likes of Iowa and Air Force’s recruitment programs.
They didn’t have a chance.
“Ever since I can remember CSU has been one of my favorite schools,” said Matt Yemm. “I’ve always been a fan at the football and basketball games. It will be interesting being on the other side now as a player.
“It’s exciting. It takes the words out of my mouth.”
Growing up as a Ram fan isn’t the only reason Yemm has chosen to wear the green and gold next fall. CSU kind of walks hand in hand with Yemm’s last name.
His father is the Rams’ team physician and all three of his older siblings attended CSU. His oldest sister Katie holds three university records in track and field.
Despite Steve’s direct relationship to CSU athletics, he says that has nothing to do with his son’s decision to go there.
“My wife and I have always gave our kids the choice of where to go,” said Steve Yemm. “And they’ve always made the choice to stay here.”
Matt said that he’s looking forward to staying close to his family but his decision was based on the coaches, players and a little from his older siblings’ experience.
“It will be nice to see my dad more, but that had no effect on my decision,” said Matt Yemm. “Seeing my sister gave me a taste of college life at CSU. She met great friends there and I think I will be the same way.”
In addition to the college experience, Yemm is mostly looking forward to making a contribution on the football field in any way he can. Yemm began his career with two solid seasons as a wide receiver for the Lambkins.
But when the starting quarterback suffered a season ending wrist injury during his junior year, it was Yemm who took the snaps.
“We didn’t win the game that Matt first filled in at quarterback,” said Eric Rice, Yemm’s high school coach. “Then the next game Matt had a break out day and we knew we had found someone special.”
As talented as Yemm is with his arm, perhaps the best news for Ram fans is the way he uses his feet on the field. In addition to his impressive stats through the air he also ran for 932 yards and 12 touchdowns.
“I was tempted by Air Force because I’d be able to run the ball more,” said Matt. “But the coaches at CSU are starting to run more of a scrambling quarterback system. If it doesn’t work out I could move to wide receiver or defensive back.”
Maybe that’s the most dangerous part to him – his versatility.
“He’s just a great guy to have on the field,” said Rice. “Matt is very sacrificial. If the coaches tell him ‘we need you here’ Matt is going to say ‘yes sir.’ He’s going to do what he can do to help the team.”
Wherever Matt ends up he’s sure to just enjoy being out there. After all his boyhood dream was to play for the Rams. He never said in what position.
Football beat writer Brett Okamoto can be reached at email@example.com.
WHAT IS NATIONAL SIGNING DAY?
-Today is National Signing Day for NCAA football teams across the country.
-It is the first day that high school recruits can officially sign with their schools of choice. -CSU will sign 20-22 players today and almost all of them have already verbally committed like Matt Yemm.
-Check out Thursday’s Collegian for a complete list of recruits and Head Coach Sonny Lubick’s comments regarding his fifteenth recruiting class.