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.”

Thursday Roundup: NMB, CF volleyball roll in region

Thursday Roundup: NMB, CF volleyball roll in regionThe Carolina Forest and North Myrtle Beach volleyball teams remained [more]

Gilmore makes home run for hall of fame induction

Gilmore makes home run for hall of fame inductionCoastal Carolina baseball head coach Gary Gilmore will be inducted [more]

Monday Roundup: CF, SJ impress at Lady Patriot

Monday Roundup: CF, SJ impress at Lady PatriotThe Carolina Forest and St. James girls golf team made [more]

Strand sends record-tying four stars to Shrine Bowl

Strand sends record-tying four stars to Shrine Bowl Horry County has had an on-again, mostly off-again relationship with [more]

Chants do it with defense for second straight week

Chants do it with defense for second straight weekNot even a 44-minute lightning delay midway through the third [more]

Week 3: MB, CF roll to set up battle of undefeateds

Week 3: MB, CF roll to set up battle of undefeatedsJon "JJ" Jones returned to his old stomping grounds at [more]

Wednesday's Roundup: SJ girls go low to beat Braves

Wednesday's Roundup: SJ girls go low to beat BravesSt. James traveled to Prestwick Country Club on Wednesday to [more]

Tuesday Roundup: Wins for CF golf, NMB volleyball

Tuesday Roundup: Wins for CF golf, NMB volleyballThe reigning Class 4A state champion North Myrtle Beach High [more]

MB transfer cleared just in time to face former school

MB transfer cleared just in time to face former schoolMyrtle Beach football player J.J. Jones has been cleared to [more]

Games go on after Dorian throws schedules for loop

Games go on after Dorian throws schedules for loopDespite Hurricane Dorian costing Horry County Schools a week of [more]

Chants capture historic victory over Jayhawks

Chants capture historic victory over JayhawksCoastal Carolina football recorded its first-ever win over a Power [more]

Who's No. 1? Two teams atop latest football polls

Who's No. 1? Two teams atop latest football polls Like it did after last year’s state championship games, Horry [more]

Hurricane Dorian calls halt to Strand sports schedule

Hurricane Dorian calls halt to Strand sports scheduleHurricane Dorian is not expected to make landfall on the [more]

Coast U-19 girls pass early test, take Atlanta Cup title

Coast U-19 girls pass early test, take Atlanta Cup titleCoach R.J. Bass wanted a strong early test for his [more]

Eastern Michigan spoils Coastal's season opener

Eastern Michigan spoils Coastal's season opener The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers opened their season the same way [more]

Week 1: Historic win for SJ; MB, CF roll in openers

Week 1: Historic win for SJ; MB, CF roll in openersTommy Norwood tried to nix the Gatorade bath. He raised [more]

Welch wins World Am in East/West Coast shootout

Welch wins World Am in East/West Coast shootoutWilliam Welch (West Islip, N.Y.) shot a net 69 (gross [more]

Golf: CF packs 1-2 punch; St. James claims tri-match

Golf: CF packs 1-2 punch; St. James claims tri-matchThe Carolina Forest girls golf team made a strong showing [more]

Chiefs reach Border Battle finale, swept by Warriors

Chiefs reach Border Battle finale, swept by WarriorsThe Palmetto State made a strong showing in the Border [more]

Perfect conditions greet thousands for World Am

Perfect conditions greet thousands for World AmBeautiful weather greeted the 3,215 golfers participating in the 36th [more]

Two Coast FA boys teams crowned Triangle champs

Two Coast FA boys teams crowned Triangle champsTwo Coast FA boys teams returned home as champions from [more]

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at horn

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at hornMatt Reel sighed more than once when talking about his [more]

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs The distance from Myrtle Beach’s TicketReturn.com Stadium to Chicago’s Wrigley [more]

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bid

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bidThe only thing harder than winning a state championship is [more]

Stormy weather big winner at CNB Kickoff Classic

Stormy weather big winner at CNB Kickoff ClassicTwo blowouts, a lightning delay and ultimately three of the [more]

Thursday Roundup: NMB, CF volleyball roll in region

Thursday Roundup: NMB, CF volleyball roll in regionThe Carolina Forest and North Myrtle Beach volleyball teams remained [more]

Gilmore makes home run for hall of fame induction

Gilmore makes home run for hall of fame inductionCoastal Carolina baseball head coach Gary Gilmore will be inducted [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach