NORTH FULTON, Ga. – Former Centennial standout David Yankey earned consensus All-American honors as an offensive lineman for Stanford. Yankey, who started at tackle for the Cardinal, was a first team selection by the Sporting News and the American Football Coaches Association, and a second team choice by the Associated Press.
Yankey, a junior, has started at Stanford each of the past two seasons. In 2010, he was the first true freshman to play in the offensive line for the Cardinal in a decade, but an injury early that season sidelined him for the remainder of the year. He was named the Pac-12’s top offensive lineman for the 2012 season.
Yankey will play with his Stanford teammates in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin on Jan. 1.
Other former North Fulton high school football players who will be playing in bowl games the next few weeks include:
** Chris Boyd, Vanderbilt (Roswell), WR: Boyd enjoyed another strong season for the Commodores, catching 46 passes for 756 yards and four touchdowns. Boyd had eight TD receptions as a redshirt freshman in 2011. Vanderbilt plays North Carolina State in the Music City Bowl in Nashville Dec. 31.
** Also playing a key role for Vanderbilt is sophomore defensive lineman Barron Dixon from Chattahoochee, a member of the Cougars’ 2010 state championship squad.
** Former Northview player Cameron Fordham is a backup offensive lineman for North Carolina State.
** Justin Tuggle, Kansas State (Northview), LB: Tuggle was a quarterback for much of his college career, starting three games for Boston College as a redshirt freshman before transferring to a junior college.
He has played at Kansas State the past two seasons, and was a top reserve as a senior on this season’s squad. Kansas State plays in the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 3 against Oregon.
** Jim Broadway, Mississippi (Roswell), P: After beginning his college career at Ohio, where he punted in four games in 2009, Broadway returned to action for his senior season at Ole Miss. He averaged more than 41 yards per punt for the Rebels, who will play Pitt in Birmingham on Jan. 5.
** Michael Bennett, Georgia (Alpharetta), WR: Bennett will be watching from the sidelines when the Bulldogs play Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando Jan. 1. Bennett was off to an outstanding start as a redshirt sophomore, catching 24 passes in the team’s first five games for 345 yards and four touchdowns. But a knee injury in practice ended Bennett’s 2012 season.
** David Andrews is another Bulldog playing well as the starting center. He is from Johns Creek and played his high school ball at Wesleyan.
** Merritt Hall of Alpharetta is another Wesleyan grad – he made All-State as a senior – who is on the Bulldogs. He was a walk-on and named Outstanding Walk-On for offense at the conclusion of spring practice, and surprised many when he made starting fullback in the fall as a redshirt freshman.
** Quarterback Tim Byerly, who led Chattahoochee to a 2010 state championship, transferred to Georgia Tech after beginning his college career at Middle Tennessee State. The Yellow Jackets play Southern Cal in the Sun Bowl Dec. 31.
** Georgia Tech has two local players serving in reserve roles – junior defensive end Euclid Cummings of Centennial and junior offensive lineman Tyler Kidney of Northview.
** Julian Boyd, Ball State (Roswell). Boyd, the younger brother of Chris Boyd, has played as a reserve linebacker the past two seasons for the Cardinals, who play Central Florida in St. Petersburg Dec. 21.
** Vince Williams, Western Kentucky (Alpharetta). Williams has been a reserve safety the past three seasons for the Hilltoppers, who play Central Michigan in Detroit Dec. 26.