INDIANAPOLIS – From Presbyterian, to Temple, to playing the most defensive snaps of any Colts player in 2019, it’s been quite the three-year run for Rock Ya-Sin.
When Ya-Sin entered his first NFL Training Camp last July, he was outside of the starting lineup.
Competing for the third cornerback spot in the Colts’ nickel package, against Quincy Wilson, Ya-Sin quickly earned himself that job.
A myriad of injuries throughout the cornerback group in 2019 eventually led to Ya-Sin playing the most defensive snaps on the team (82.3 percent).
An up and down rookie season for the team’s 34th overall pick.
“He had some really good moments, and he had some ugly moments,” Chris Ballard says. “Let me tell you what I love about this kid, he’s exactly what we thought he was going to be in terms of grit, toughness. Holy crap you line up 16 games and you’re asked to play some great players.
“All he does is work. Good day, I’m going to keep working. Bad day, I’m going to keep working. That’s why he’s going to get better.”
Easily the darkest day of Ya-Sin’s rookie season came in a penalty-filled game against Denver.
But, as Ballard stated above, the Colts loved how Ya-Sin responded to that outing to forget.
In total, Ya-Sin started 13 of the 15 games he played, finishing with 61 tackles (2 for loss), 5 passes defensed, 1 interception and 1 fumble recovered.
The Colts need better cornerback play moving forward, but make no mistake that Ya-Sin is a building block for them.
“We are happy with Rock,” Ballard said. “The one thing I really like about him, even when he had a rough game, he was in the office on Monday working. He works. He’s got the right mindset to be a really good corner in this league.”
And enough talent, to go with that mindset?
“Absolutely,” the GM says.