Breaking Down 4-Star Miami RB Joseph Yearby's Highlight Tape

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IFebruary 28, 2014

Breaking Down 4-Star Miami RB Joseph Yearby's Highlight Tape

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    Miami signed the No. 12 class in the country, according to the 2014 247Sports recruiting rankings. A large reason for the Hurricanes' high ranking was due to them signing elite 4-star running back Joseph Yearby.

    At 5'9" and 190 pounds, he has a compact frame that is full of excellent speed and quickness. He is one of the most instinctive running backs in recent memory, which is evidenced by the fantastic vision he consistently displays.

    He is sure to be a playmaker for years to come in Coral Gables. That's much is known from his impressive highlight tape, which warrants a more in-depth breakdown.

    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

Play No. 1: 0:00-0:12

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    Opening up his highlight tape with a bang, Yearby shows off most of his skill set on this play. He takes the ball on a zone-read play and immediately attacks the line of scrimmage.

    Look at the subtle quickness and elusiveness through the alley he displays on this carry. Also, look at his head. He's running with his eyes up, and you can see him reading the block of the slot receiver.

    Then, he also decides to go around the block from the wide receiver on this play, instead of shooting upfield inside him. Finally, Yearby squares his shoulders to the end zone and displays good speed (although the tape accelerates faster than real time) to run by defenders on his way to scoring.

    He displays his balance, jump-cutting ability, quickness and nimble feet here. 

Play No. 2: 0:13-0:21

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    Yearby lines up as the Wildcat quarterback on this play. He takes a direct snap and then correctly reads the block of the pulling tackle by cutting inside. He explodes through the second level and uses his supreme elusiveness to shake an oncoming defensive back.

    He sees the defensive back attack him at an angle while having the presence of mind to elude him. That's more evidence of his great vision.

Play No. 3: 0:22-0:28

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    Here's where the 5'9", 190-pounder shows the deceptive strength he possesses in his running arsenal. Yearby gets to the edge of the box and then takes a slight hit.

    After clearing contact, he is then challenged by another defender. His strength and balance allow him to absorb the hit and stay on his feet. Yearby isn't a power runner, but he's stronger than many think.

Play No. 4: 0:29-0:37

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    This play is basically a long-trap, as Yearby gets help from a pulling offensive tackle. He also benefits from the scissor action in the backfield. However, the main traits displayed here are his natural speed and elusiveness in the open field.

Play No. 5: 0:38-0:50

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    Yearby exhibits exceptional quickness and acceleration through the hole on this play. Running backs must be able to burst through creases nowadays, and he shows on this play that he's capable of that.

    Look at how he weaves through traffic, showing off an ability to cut at full speed.

    What's also to like on this play is that he doesn't waste a lot of time dancing and running east and west. He knows where the end zone is and where his shoulders need to be squared to.

Play No. 6: 0:51-0:56

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    Tight-space elusiveness is shown here by Yearby. Back at Wildcat quarterback, he attacks the edge and meets the middle linebacker, who shuffles over.

    Yearby simply puts on a few quick shakes and then eludes the defender, exploding upfield to reach the end zone.

Play No. 7: 0:57-1:02

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    Yearby shows pretty much the same traits he showed in Play No. 6 on this play. However, he uses a spin move at the goal line to elude the defender.

    Most high school running backs who spin usually spin around but stay in one place. The true goal and trick of a correctly executed spin move is to spin as you get upfield. Yearby does it the right way here, which results in a touchdown.

Play No. 8: 1:03-1:12

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    The agility, shiftiness, quickness and ability to not need to gather himself to cut that he displays on this play are impressive. He also shows off incredible balance.

    Watch how he easily cuts at full speed at 1:06—not many running backs can do that.

Play No. 9: 1:13-1:19

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    Look at the phenomenal upfield burst Yearby shows on this play. He flashes upfield with the explosiveness of a bundle of dynamite and then flaunts his athleticism at the end of the play.

    If he can stay healthy, he has the quickness and instincts to become one of the greatest running backs in the history of Miami football. 

    Jamie Newberg of wrote in Dec. 2013: "He does things you can't coach because so much of his game is centered around his pure instincts. To be honest, he has some Barry Sanders in him."

2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map

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    Yearby can be located on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map!


    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.