Rock Ya-Sin Shares Incredible Football Journey

The Temple cornerback prospect didn't play football until his junior year of high school – and he could be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft

Zach Gelb
April 23, 2019 - 10:07 am

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Rock Ya-Sin didn’t play sports as a kid. In eighth grade, however, he decided to give wrestling a try – and he became a two-time state champion.

That success pales in comparison to his football career. Ya-Sin, a cornerback prospect out of Temple, didn’t play a single snap until his junior year of high school.

He could be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft.

“I ended up falling in love with the game,” Ya-Sin said on The Zach Gelb Show. “I struggled a little bit at first just because I hadn’t done it. These kids played football since third, fourth grade. I’m just starting in 11th grade. I didn’t understand what a Cover 2 was, a Cover 3. All I knew was I was a competitor. I would just go out and just compete and compete and compete until I got better and better. I just continued to work and work and work.”

Ya-Sin started as a junior and senior and received three scholarship offers before signing with Presbyterian, where he holds the school record for interceptions. Ya-Sin ultimately transferred to Temple, which was “a whole new ball game.”

His wrestling background helps him on the football field – and not just with tackling.

“I’m not afraid to be one-on-one,” he said. “I love football because it’s a team sport, but (after) wrestling for so long, I’m not afraid to be in those one-on-one situations. I feel like sometimes playing corner, you’re put in those situations a lot: you versus the man in front of you. I feel like that’s helped me a lot in football.”

Ya-Sin said it would “mean the world” to be drafted in the first round.

“Fourteen months ago, I was sitting in the office at Presbyterian with my coach, Tommy Spangler, and he’s telling me it’s better to be an undrafted free agent than to be a seventh-round pick,” Ya-Sin said. “And now there’s an opportunity for me to go in the first round. It’s just a big blessing.”

Click below to listen to Ya-Sin’s interview in its entirety.