Brandon Yosha, sophomore operating again for Lehigh College’s soccer staff, traded in palm bushes for metal stacks, 80,000 followers for 10,000 and an opportunity to play with school soccer’s massive boys when he transferred from College of Miami to Lehigh this previous summer season.
After a one-year cease at Miami, Yosha discovered his strategy to Bethlehem and launched himself with a landing on the Mountain Hawks’ first drive of the season in Saturday’s recreation towards James Madison College.
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When Yosha was at Cathedral Excessive College exterior of Carmel, Indiana his mailbox was overflowing with invites from universities throughout the nation. SEC, ACC, and Huge 10 applications all needed to make the most of the abilities of the 6-foot, 180-pound speedster of their backfield.
Yosha was on par with present NFL gamers corresponding to Marcus Lattimore, Lache Seastruck and Andre Williams. On the time Yosha was ranked because the No. 7 operating again within the nation in line with Rivals.com.
But with a coincidence, Yosha watched as Lattimore obtained drafted out of the College of South Carolina, Seastruck scored double-digit touchdowns at Baylor College and Boston School’s Williams attend final yr’s Heisman Ceremony all whereas recovering to get again to his pre-surgery self. In a blue-chip showcase in Tampa Bay in 2010, Yosha tore his ACL in his proper knee forcing him to sit down out his whole junior season and rewrite his path to Division I soccer.
After a profitable senior season at Cathedral, Yosha obtained a name from former Miami Offensive Coordinator Jedd Fisch. After not having the ability to supply a full-ride, Yosha ended up walking-on to the Hurricanes’ roster.
Taking part in in six video games his freshman season in Corral Gables, totally on particular groups, Yosha’s spotlight was when he recorded a deal with towards North Carolina State. Simply as issues had been wanting up, the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars swept up his greatest advocate and mentor, Coach Fisch. Yosha needed out of Miami and Lehigh didn’t hesitate to pursue the operating again.
“To be trustworthy, I had no clue what Lehigh was,” Yosha mentioned. “Even the second time via the recruiting course of, I didn’t know something about Lehigh till the previous operating again coach right here, Coach Ryan, began recruiting me.”
When Yosha filed to switch from Miami, there was plenty of purple tape induced by the NCAA that he needed to contemplate when discovering his subsequent backfield. One factor remained sure, nonetheless — Yosha had finished sufficient sitting out. He needed to play.
“ACC colleges I didn’t even contemplate as a result of I needed to have the ability to play instantly,” Yosha mentioned. “There have been just a few colleges like Northern Illinois, just a few MAC colleges I used to be contemplating after which Hawaii. Sitting out a yr wasn’t interesting to me in any respect – I needed to play as quickly as attainable. Lehigh was one of many first colleges to recruit me and now I’m right here.”
Yosha is coming from a program that has 46 gamers within the NFL that after known as Coral Gables house, an NFL report. Lehigh has two: Baltimore Ravens lineman Will Rackley (’12) and present free agent and ex-New York Jet and Miami Dolphin, Ryan Spadola (’13). The notoriety of his former program has saved the operating again humbled in a brand new type of play.
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“The velocity of the sport is quite a bit slower coming to this stage and I can see plenty of issues higher,” Yosha mentioned regarding the ACC to Patriot League transition. “There’s nonetheless proficient guys I’m enjoying towards and so they’re guys I see on the sphere at Lehigh who can contribute to the College of Miami in my view.”
Regardless that Lehigh doesn’t have the luxurious of calling NFL greats like Michael Irving, Ray Lewis and Jim Kelly alumni, the NFL dream nonetheless lingers for Yosha.
“Seeing Will Rackley and ‘Dola go to the NFL is simply extra the motivation for me as a student-athlete right here at Lehigh,” Yosha mentioned.
Regardless that Yosha scored a landing in his first-ever drive as a Hawk, perspective stays vital for the operating again. The coveted Rivals checklist is behind him and now he has objectives along with attending to the NFL, like doing nicely on his accounting take a look at subsequent week and setting himself up for “life after soccer.”
For Yosha, the “what if” recreation that tormented him going via rehab is now prior to now.
“What if’s are a horrible factor and in my view every part occurs for a cause. I’m right here at Lehigh and I’m glad,” Yosha mentioned. “That is the place I believe I used to be destined to be. If it weren’t for these accidents, who is aware of the place I might have been – possibly an SEC college or nonetheless at Miami. For no matter cause, I’m on a special path that I needed to take and I’m benefiting from my alternatives right here at Lehigh.”