Calvert Hall lineman Dan Yarborough, The Baltimore Sun's All-Metro Defensive Player of the Year, will sign a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday to attend Shepherd University, which has one of the top Division II football teams in the country.
Yarborough said the choice came down to pair of Division II schools: Bowie State and Shepherd in West Virginia.
"It came down to my future," he said. "They had all the majors I wanted and you can't argue with their success. They were the No. 7 team in the country last year with mostly underclassmen."
Last fall, the 5-foot-10, 300-pounder played a critical role in the Cardinals winning the MIAA A Conference championship and finishing with the No. 1 ranking. He was the cornerstone of a defense that gave up just 10.4 points per game and held six opponents to seven points or fewer.
One of his best games was the 26-21 victory over No. 2 Gilman in early October — a game the Cardinals trailed 21-7 early in the fourth quarter and that ultimately decided the A Conference title. Yarborough played the pivotal role in the second-half turnaround. He finished with 92 tackles (43 solo), three sacks and a forced fumble.
Calvert Hall coach Donald Davis said he felt Shepherd was a good fit for Yarborough, adding that he had drawn a lot of interest from Howard before its coaching staff was fired. Davis felt Yarborough was under-recruited because he wasn't tall enough for major college recruiters.
"I just think [college] guys place too much sometimes on the measurables," Davis said. "I try to explain to some of those guys that I watched this kid push around major 1A players. Don't tell me he would struggle with major 1A players. I just watched him handle guys that are going to be playing major 1A football in a year or two years and he handled himself quite well. He has leverage. When I look at [the Ravens'] Kelly Gregg and [the Steelers'] Casey Hampton, I don't get it."
Yarborough, who plans to major in sports marketing and would like to coach defensive linemen in the NFL someday, is happy with his choice and happy to get the pressure over with. He said he likes the family atmosphere at Shepherd.
He also said he expects to have the chance to compete for a starting spot in the lineup.
"It's a place where I can just come in and work really hard and have success early," he said. "I believe I can play right away, but it's going to take a lot of hard work."