With five tackles and two sacks against Georgetown University last Saturday, defensive end Michael Yules '14 let the inspiration of his football coaches and his family shine through.
Throughout his football career, the South Dartmouth, Mass., native has not strayed too far from home. From Moses Brown High School to Brown Stadium, Yules has brought his homegrown talent to the Bears' defensive line. His performance last weekend, which included two crucial hits in a first quarter goal-line stand, helped power Bruno to a 37-10 victory over the Hoyas and earned Yules Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week.
For his stout work anchoring the Bruno defense, Yules has been chosen as The Herald's Athlete of the Week.
The Herald: How did you get started in football?
Yules: I played football when I was in sixth grade for the first time, but then I quit after that season. I transferred to Moses Brown for ninth grade, and I didn't play football then either, but I had a couple friends who were on the team. I went out to one of the J.V. games on Monday, and one of the coaches saw me on the sideline and asked me what I was doing not playing football. So I showed up to practice the next day.
What is it like playing right down the street from your high school?
It's really a blessing and an honor. I used to eat lunch with some of my friends outside and we could see the practice fields from where we were sitting and see some of the practices, so it's always been a dream.
Do you keep in touch with your old coaches from Moses Brown?
I do. Those guys are probably the second biggest inspiration to me next to my little brother. They always inspired me to be the best that I could. They would always be able to do what we were doing at practice better than we could, so it was kind of an inspiration to watch them, even though they were older and retired, be able to kick our butts.
Do they come to watch you play at Brown?
Yeah, they'll text me before the games, and they like to come to the games.
Does your brother play football?
Yeah, at Stanford.
Do you and your brother have a competitive relationship?
My brother is my hero. He's the guy that I've always looked up to even though he's younger. We feed off of each other. We would work out together, we run sprints together. Part of the big reason I came to Brown was to be around him and watch him grow up and go through his senior and junior football seasons. I wouldn't say competition - I would say motivation.
What's your favorite part about playing defensive line?
I like to think it's kind of the foundation of the defense. It's a lot of responsibility, and I honestly like the feeling of walking away from a game or practice and being beat-up and sore knowing that we worked as a unit and were a close-knit group of guys. We go through a lot together.
If you could play any other position, what would it be?
It's probably kind of cliched, but everyone always wants to be quarterback.
Do you have any rituals before games?
I am a very superstitious man. Before games, I usually do the same exact thing. The group of guys that play D-line has our own ritual before games.
What's your way of celebrating after a win?
I like to unwind and relax. There's always college football on at night, and it's hard not to think about the game, but I try to get my mind off it as much as I can.