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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 6

Gold and Black is a multi-platform media company that covers Purdue athletics like no one else.

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Page 38 of 110

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 26, ISSUE 6 37 Next Level Mature Yancey ready to be 'dominant' BY STACY CLARDIE D eAngelo Yancey was getting restless. He hadn't been catching as many balls as he'd like, not with Mollenkopf off-limits during slight construction and more around the Bimel outdoor field. So after watching an NBA playoff game with friends, includ- ing members of Purdue's team, he asked fellow receiver Gregory Phillips if he wanted to find a place to get work in. Right away. At 11:30 p.m. Phillips, usually the one to suggest such oddities, obliged. So Yancey and Phillips grabbed a bag of footballs and stepped outside onto the basketball court at their apart- ment complex. They ran routes, worked different drills — catching balls with one hand, over the shoulder, low, high, etc. — and served as the other's quarterback. After 500 or so catches, they headed back inside. It was 1 a.m. by then. "It's not even work anymore," Yancey said in mid-June. "It's just something that we've got to do. It's not even like, 'Uh, we have to go to work out.' It's like, 'When are we going to work out?' Like if we don't work out, I don't know, there's no such thing as an off day, really." That? That's the measure of a man on a mission. That's exactly why Yancey can enter his senior year for Purdue with realistic NFL dreams. That's why Yancey can have confidence in his now-chis- eled 216-pound, 6-foot-4 body. That's why Yancey can believe he will be a nightmare for opposing defensive backs, the ones who try to bully him with press-man coverage at the line, maybe not real- izing he's no longer vulnerable to such strategies. That — the desire to work to be great, to gain sepa- ration, to not just be part of the process but to exceed the process — it's every bit what Yancey was not two years ago. But it's that change — the attitude shift, the wake-up call, the maturity, however it's labeled — that has him "on the way," he says, to becoming a player he'd dare la- bel as great. "I can be a dominant player. Actually, I feel like I should be able to do whatever I want," Yancey said. "It's come to that point now where I've got the experience and I know what not to do and now it's just putting it all together and going out every week and being able to dominate."

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