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When Matt Bauer took over as head coach of the Exeter High School football team four years ago, he went with a freshman quarterback, Kyle Yocum. As the years progressed, he watched Yocum grow as a quarterback and a person.
Yocum took his next step forward last week when he signed his Letter-Of-Intent to play football at the University of Delaware. He committed to Delaware last July after visiting the school six times.
“Delaware was always my first choice,” said Yocum. “They have a winning tradition there and have a new coach (Dave Brock) they just hired two weeks ago and he’s a great guy. I believe he‘ll move the program forward over the next few years.
“I also had a chance to meet my future teammates. They’re some of the best players in the nation who have a lot of character and really want to win a championship.”
The Blue Hens play in Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formerly known as Division 1-AA. Delaware has enjoyed a lot of success in its history, including six national championships in its 117 years (1946, 1963, 1971, 1972, 1979 and 2003). In 2007 and 2010 the Blue Hens made it to the championship game, but lost.
“That’s what really attracted me to Delaware,” said Yocum. “They have an amazing winning tradition and their attitude is to win it all - nothing else will do.”
This fall the Blue Hens’ projected starting quarterback will be Trent Hurley, a 6’-4” junior. Yocum knows he may have to wait a year or two to get the starting QB job - then again, maybe not.
“I’ll go there to compete for the starting job,” said Yocum. “I’m not going to take a back seat to anyone. I’m going to try to get that starting job in my freshman year. However, if the coaches feel that I’m not ready yet, I can accept that. If they want me to red shirt my freshman season, that’s what I’ll do. I’m going to do whatever it takes to succeed at that level.”
Coach Bauer, his high school coach, has no doubt that Yocum has the ability to succeed in college. Yocum has been his quarterback for all four years he’s been coach at Exeter Township High School.
“He will be missed very much,” said Coach Bauer. “We’ve been through it all together all four season and it will be different without Kyle as my quarterback. But I can’t wait to see his career grow in college. I think he be great. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have coached him.”
Yocum said he seriously considered the University at Buffalo and Bucknell University, but in the end, those schools just couldn’t compete with Delaware. That’s where he always wanted to go.