The NFL Can Wait

When Jose Yearwood graduated from F.W. Springstead High School, little did he think he would end his college career with as many accomplishments as he has attained.

Yearwood, who this past spring graduated from Brown University of the Ivy League, started for the Brown football team, earned two tryouts with teams in the National Football League, and has a job awaiting him with the financial firm of J.P. Morgan.

“I mean, I would love to play in the NFL, but I have a degree from Brown, I won an Ivy League title as a sophomore and I’ve got that ring,” Yearwood said. “In the end, it was the best decision I ever made.”

After graduating from Springstead High in 2004, Yearwood decided to attend the Ivy League school where he earned a double major in economics and ancient history.

He made the Brown Bears team as a freshman, but had only two tackles on the year. In his sophomore year, Yearwood earned a starting spot as a defensive back and had 56 tackles as Brown won its first Ivy League title in 41 years.

As a junior, Yearwood was named Honorable Mention All-Ivy League and was picked on the weekly Ivy League Honor Roll for his performance against Penn when he had eight tackles and broke up three passes in the game.

During Yearwood’s final year at Brown, the 6-foot-1, 226-pound defensive back had 33 tackles and 24 assists.

Against Yale in a 17-7 loss, Yearwood had 10 tackles, while in a 28-17 win over Duquesne, he had eight tackles and a late interception in the end zone to help preserve the win.

Two tryouts

This past summer, Yearwood attended two tryout camps. Initially, he went to the Kansas City Chiefs’ camp in mid-May and then attended a camp for the Buffalo Bills.

“Right now, I have a lot of free time before I start working and trying to make it in the NFL was something I wanted to do,” he said.

“Both the camp with the Chiefs and the Bills were basically tryout camps,” the Spring Hill resident said. “I didn’t get invited to the NFL Combine and when we had a Pro Day at Brown, Kansas City and five other NFL teams were there.

“I ran a 4.53 40-yard dash and I thought I did well enough on Pro Day that I might get signed as an undrafted free agent. But I wasn’t and I’m OK with that,” he said. “I mean, this fall I’m going to be working for J. P. Morgan in New York City.”

Before the draft, the Internet site interviewed Yearwood and had some interesting quotes from him.

When they asked him to describe his game in three words or less, Yearwood told them, “consistent, dependable and prepared.”

Later, they asked him to list three things he wanted to do with his life: “1. Work on Wall Street; 2. Coach high school football; 3 Broadcasting.”

And while sports is an important part of Yearwood’s life, academics is also very important. “Academics are second to none,” he said. “It gives you great opportunities after school.

“It pushes you. It’s a really big challenge and I definitely think it will make you a better person in the long run.”

The Brown graduate also thinks the football played in the Ivy League does not get the recognition is should. “Football is the only NCAA sport that has a Division I and a I-AA. Of the I-AA schools, we’re as good as most of them,” he said.

“I’m sure we couldn’t have beaten Appalachian State (this year’s NCAA I-AA national champion), but we play teams from the Patriot League and we’ve beaten them.”

Yearwood says his plans right now are to relax and visit Florida. “I want to visit my family and my nephew, Kevin Greer, plays at Central and I want to see him and work out with him.”

But if asked what accomplishment he’s most proud of, Yearwood says quickly it was playing football and graduating from Brown.

“People talk about student-athletes. But I think playing in the Ivy League is the ultimate,” he said. “You’re held to an extremely high standard. And when you’re in the real world with an employee, an Ivy League degree is something to say you played ball and still balanced a tough academic load every week.”

The NFL Can Wait
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