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INDIANAPOLIS – Nathan Burton, the former Temple position coach of Rock Ya-Sin, answers the phone and immediately offers:
“Love to talk about Rock anytime I can.”
Former coaches of Rock Ya-Sin do love talking about their former cornerback.
“He’s tough, tenacious, competitive, relentless, every adjective you could use is embodied in Rock Ya-Sin,” former Temple head coach Geoff Collins says of Ya-Sin.
Coaches often laud the person of Ya-Sin, first.
But his play on the field was a reason why the Temple coaching staff has now moved on to Georgia Tech this fall.
“We typically matched him up with the best receiver of the opponent the best we could,” Burton says of how they used Ya-Sin. “Early in the year, teams in our conference were attacking him and he ended up with three picks, but every time someone tried to attack him, he attacked them, he ended up with the ball/he had the PBU and he did it with very little PIs. He plays great with his body, with his hands.
“His wrestling background I think is a unique story. It allows him to have close combat but not lunge or reach.”
The spring offseason program has seen Ya-Sin develop and find his way into some starting reps, with a few injuries showing up late in the spring at corner.
Ya-Sin was steady and looked like a guy who could handle the jump he’s making in competition based off his two collegiate stops at Temple and Presbyterian.
“Speed of the game is a lot faster,” Ya-Sin says of the some of the differences from practicing in the NFL. “The players are a lot better. The ball placement form the quarterback is a lot better so just trying to get adjusted to that and continue to get better.”
When Collins, who also had defensive coordinator stops at Mississippi State and Florida, looks at Ya-Sin’s future in the NFL, the ACC head coach is quite bullish.
“I would put Rock Ya-Sin at the forefront of all those guys as an elite NFL defensive back and competitor.”