The frenzied undrafted free agency market that commenced Monday evening brought New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick the chance to go back to his lacrosse roots.
The Patriots signed Will Yeatman on Tuesday morning. Yeatman was a two sport athlete in college, playing tight end for both Notre Dame and Maryland on the football field, and then playing attack and midfield on the lacrosse field in the spring. He was named the LaxPower Rookie of the Year in 2007 for his work on the lacrosse field, leading Notre Dame with 46 points and 25 assists. He sat out the 2008 season in order to transfer to Maryland, a stronger lacrosse program than Notre Dame.
Yeatman played 11 games last season for Maryland's football team, seeing time both on offense and special teams. Though he only started three games, he had several career best reception performances, with his best being against Florida State on November 20th. He had five receptions for 47 yards that game, in addition to his first college touchdown reception.
Yeatman's upside on the football field is his speed, endurance and incredible hand-eye coordination - all traits nurtured though conditioning for both lacrosse and football. Scouts have been keeping a close eye on him since 2009, and some believe he could be even better used as a tackle.
Though Yeatman's football stats may not be the most impressive, Belichick clearly wanted to give a lacrosse/football hybrid like he once was a chance. Belichick was the captain of the lacrosse team and a tight end on the football team during his time at Wesleyan University.