When two evenly matched teams play, usually the group, who makes the fewest mistakes and does more of the little things correctly give themselves the best chance to win. The same can be said for the individual battles in the…
When two evenly matched teams play, usually the group, who makes the fewest mistakes and does more of the little things correctly give themselves the best chance to win. The same can be said for the individual battles in the trenches. One of the top big men in the 2019 class – Wayzata’s Andrew Yogei – knows the details matter. He has been focusing on the smaller points of line play to give him an advantage against his opponents for his senior year and beyond.
The Trojans’ struggled through the 2017 season – winning two games and falling in the first round of the playoffs.
“I don’t think (Trojans’ struggles) were anything physical,” Yogei said. “I just don’t think we ever put everything together.”
Defensive was what Yogei thought was the team’s strength.
“After the first game, I thought our defense played well. We had some good leaders on defense.”
Yogei was a mainstay on the Trojans’ defensive line.
“I had a good season, but it was substandard by my standards. I expected to play a lot better.”
He has those high expectations of himself because of how he prepares.
“I am a film junky,” Yogei explained. “I watch a lot of film of myself and my technique was flawed at times. I am strong, but sometimes I don’t play with good leverage. Sometimes I don’t shoot my hands well. There were times I was able to get away with that but this offseason it has been one of the main things I have been working on – my get off and shooting my hands. I am expecting a better season out of myself my senior year.”
Along with weight lifting and speed workouts, he also uses his brother to work on his hands.
“I will go down in the basement with my little brother,” Yogei explained. “I would practice swim moves on him and work on using my hands – reacting to him to pop him in his chest. I watch film on guys like Aaron Donald, Reggie White, and John Randle; those guys use their hands well. When I was younger, I thought it was a cliché – hands, hands, hands – for defensive linemen. The older I get, the more I realize it is a big part of d-line play.”
An interior defensive lineman, the 6’1″ 290-pound Yogei, plays on both sides of the center.
“I am not as strong on the left side as the right side – that is something else I have been working on this offseason – but I usually lined up on the strong side of the offensive formation.”
Yogei – who first stated for the Trojans half-way through his sophomore season – feels he has two main advantages over his opponents – one physical and one mental.
“My strength on the defensive line is my strength. From a young age, I have been bigger and stronger than my peers.”
“My ability to pick up little things about the offense – I feel that is a big key for me,” Yogei continued. “We watch film as a team, but I watch a little extra. I will find the smallest things I do wrong and try to correct that.”
The junior also spent some time on offense.
“I would play left guard. It would depend on the team we were playing for how often I would play offense. Most games I would go in for a few series if the offense was struggling.”
This winter Yogei – NFN’s 24th ranked athlete from the Class of 2019 – has been a regular in the weight room.
“We have focused on explosiveness and mental toughness in the weight room. We do conditioning at the start and then it is focused on explosiveness and getting in and out of things quickly.”
This summer he is hoping to get to as many camps as he can.
“I have been in contact with the Iowa coaches for a while now. I will be heading out there for sure this summer. I will be going to the Gophers’ Row the Boat camp. I have been in contact with a lot of the Ivy League schools. I will be going to visit Columbia for sure and will likely go to the Chicagoland Showcase. I might be heading to North Dakota State and South Dakota State also.”
Iowa has been interested in Yogei. He just attended the Minnesota junior day. South Dakota State has been out to the school as well as North Dakota State. Princeton, Cornell, Yale, Harvard, and Yale have all reached out to the junior.
Having to balance his obvious focus on both academics and football is based on his parents and his faith.
“The main thing for me is my religion. I am Christian first. I will do my church, and everything else will follow suit. My parents did a good job instilling in me if you are in church you are not going to get into trouble. I am not the type of guy who is going to go to a party. I would rather hang out with my (church) youth group guys.”
“Football is not guaranteed,” Yogei continued. “If I get my education that is guaranteed. My parents stress education with me. Being from Africa, they moved here to give me opportunities better than a lot of people have. I have family back in Africa, and I have been blessed with this opportunity, and I don’t want to let my family or Jesus Christ down.”
Focusing on the details of Yogei’s life on and off the football field have prepared him not only for football beyond high school but lif