Yuracheks make next-level moves since exiting Strand

The Yurachek family has undergone a lot of life changes since leaving the Carolina Forest community four years ago, but their time here helped prepare them for their current career paths.

Former Carolina Forest High School and Marshall University football standout Ryan Yurachek realized his childhood dream of joining an NFL team last week by signing a free-agent contract with the New Orleans Saints. Meanwhile, father and former Coastal Carolina University athletics director Hunter Yurachek is six months into his second AD job since leaving CCU in 2014.

“I remember Ryan graduated from Carolina Forest on a Friday, we dropped him off in Huntington (WV) on Sunday, and we moved the family to Texas the next Monday,” recalled Hunter, now the AD at the University of Arkansas. “It was tough, but between (wife) Jennifer and I, at least one of us went to all of Ryan’s home games and a lot of his road games. Hopefully now we will get to see him play in New Orleans.”

The whirlwind four years flew by for Ryan, who graduated from Marshall with honors in December following an impressive college career. He played in 51 games, amassing 143 receptions, 1,354 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns – second-best in program history for a tight end. In his senior season, Ryan was named First Team All-Conference USA and earned the Senior Scholar Award. Despite his success, Ryan had to overcome the same obstacle he faced in high school.

“This is what I’ve been working for my whole life so I’m just excited to be where I am,” the 6-foot-3, 239-pounder said of his big break. “It’s been an uphill battle since I was being recruited at Carolina Forest. Back then I was an undersized tight end trying to go from high school to college, and now I’m an undersized tight end trying to go from college to the NFL. All I wanted is a chance, and I got it.”

Ryan earned that shot with the Saints following a rigorous training schedule to catch the attention of scouts. He spent three months working out in Charleston, attended Marshall’s pro day, and tracked down teams willing to give him a look. He found the right fit with the Saints, but with a caveat; they signed him as a fullback position, not a tight end.

“The biggest challenge for me was finding the right spot for me and getting in front of the right people,” he said. “Because of my size and my ability to catch the ball, the Saints think they can use me as a fullback/H-back. I couldn’t have asked for a better team as far as that goes. They do a lot of creative things on offense, and it’s a great organization from top to bottom. The coaches, owners, front office and players have been nothing but welcoming to me.”

Ryan will attend a series of OTAs and minicamps in the coming week before training camp opens in July, when he will try to earn a spot on the Saints’ 45-man roster. He will be close enough to spend time at home with the family in the Houston suburb of Friendswood, Texas, where his mom and younger brothers still reside, and visit his father in Fayetteville, Ark., where Hunter is dealing with some of the same issues he handled at CCU, such as hiring a new football coach and stadium expansion.

“Coastal was my first (AD) job and it was a great experience,” said Hunter , who helped hire Joe Moglia as CCU football coach, opened the HTC Center and broke ground on Spring Brooks Stadium during his 2010-2014 tenure at Coastal. “ I think it helped to start at a smaller school because everything I did at Coastal made me a better AD at Houston and Arkansas.”

Now the hectic cross-country travel begins again for the Yurachek family. Middle son Jake graduates from high school next week and heads to the University of Colorado to play linebacker for the Buffaloes. Youngest son Brooks is a rising eighth-grader and appears headed in his elder brothers’ cleat prints on the gridiron. Not to mention Ryan’s opportunity to play on Sundays.

“You hear a lot about how the rookies aren’t always nice to the rookies, but everyone has been unbelievably nice to me,” Ryan said. “It’s still surreal to me to walk around and see (Saints All-Pro quarterback) Drew Brees and all these guys I watch on TV. I’m a big football fan so I still have to pinch myself and remember I’m here to play football. I’m excited to put the pads, get into these practices and show them what I can do.”

Comments

comments

Saints go down swinging; Green caps stellar career

Saints go down swinging; Green caps stellar careerThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach boys basketball team saw [more]

CCU men lose to Eagles; Lady Chants win at buzzer

CCU men lose to Eagles; Lady Chants win at buzzerSenior forward Zac Cuthbertson and freshman point guard DeVante Jones [more]

Boys Hoops: Saints reach state semis; Tigers ousted

Boys Hoops: Saints reach state semis; Tigers oustedThe Conway High boys basketball team's record-setting season came to [more]

Chants hammer Seahawks to stay perfect on season

Chants hammer Seahawks to stay perfect on seasonNo. 19 Coastal Carolina flew out to an early 5-0 [more]

Morgan, Steele strike gold to lead CAC at state meet

Morgan, Steele strike gold to lead CAC at state meet South Carolina Swimming hosted its annual Short Course Championship Meet [more]

Lady Seahawks' lock-down defense nets state semi bid

Lady Seahawks' lock-down defense nets state semi bidA.C. Flora missed a couple shots. Then a couple more. They [more]

Chadwell makes changes, additions to football staff

Chadwell makes changes, additions to football staffCoastal Carolina football head coach Jamey Chadwell announced the additions [more]

Chants blow past Camels, sweep opening weekend

Chants blow past Camels, sweep opening weekendCoastal Carolina baseball's 11-2 win over the Campbell Fighting Camels [more]

Boys Hoops: Tigers win again; MB falls at Wilson

Boys Hoops: Tigers win again; MB falls at WilsonNot all that long ago, the Conway basketball team was [more]

Coastal men, women split against Appalachian State

Coastal men, women split against Appalachian StateCoastal Carolina ran into a hot-shooting Appalachian State team Saturday [more]

Girls Hoops: Socastee, CF eliminated; MB dominates

Girls Hoops: Socastee, CF eliminated; MB dominatesSocastee predicates everything it does on defense. But the Braves still [more]

Chants come out swinging in season debut over VCU

Chants come out swinging in season debut over VCUChants come out dNo. 21 Coastal Carolina baseball had a [more]

Boys Hoops: Tigers, Tonka win at buzzer; MB tops SA

Boys Hoops: Tigers, Tonka win at buzzer; MB tops SAWhen Conway football coach Carlton Terry talks about Tonka Hemingway [more]

CCU baseball carries high expectations into season

CCU baseball carries high expectations into seasonThe No. 21 Coastal Carolina baseball team will open up [more]

Girls Hoops: CF advances; Braves survive Shark scare

Girls Hoops: CF advances; Braves survive Shark scareCarolina Forest wasn’t supposed to be here, hosting another playoff [more]

Tigers, Lady Braves enter playoffs as lone top seeds

Tigers, Lady Braves enter playoffs as lone top seedsIt took an extra day to materialize. There was a large-scale [more]

Eastside halts NMB's run in Class 4A state final match

Eastside halts NMB's run in Class 4A state final matchNorth Myrtle Beach’s historic wrestling season ended with the Chiefs [more]

Chants' comeback bid falls short on road to Bobcats

Chants' comeback bid falls short on road to BobcatsZac Cuthbertson had 15 points and seven rebounds, but Coastal [more]

Coastal men, women see winning streaks snapped

Coastal men, women see winning streaks snappedThe Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team had its three-game winning [more]

Chiefs charge past Eagles, shoot for first state crown

Chiefs charge past Eagles, shoot for first state crownFor the first time in a dozen year, the North [more]

Signing Day: Solomon, 7 Seahawks select schools

Signing Day: Solomon, 7 Seahawks select schoolsSocastee High speedster Kenney Solomon capped a strong sprint to [more]

Chadwell adds eight to cap first recruiting class at CCU

Chadwell adds eight to cap first recruiting class at CCUCoastal Carolina football head coach Jamey Chadwell announced the addition [more]

Hoops: Tonka tows Tigers to share of region crown

Hoops: Tonka tows Tigers to share of region crownConway used a late-second basket to beat visiting West Florence [more]

NMB downs South Aiken, makes Lower State Finals

NMB downs South Aiken, makes Lower State FinalsWith the North Myrtle Beach wrestling team's season on the [more]

Coastal men, women extend win streaks against Cajuns

Coastal men, women extend win streaks against CajunsZac Cuthbertson led five Coastal Carolina players in double digits [more]

Saints go down swinging; Green caps stellar career

Saints go down swinging; Green caps stellar careerThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach boys basketball team saw [more]

CCU men lose to Eagles; Lady Chants win at buzzer

CCU men lose to Eagles; Lady Chants win at buzzerSenior forward Zac Cuthbertson and freshman point guard DeVante Jones [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach