Part II in a five-part series on the All-Sports Blog Athlete of the Year
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Before we begin to count down the days to the start of the 2010-'11 sports season, the All-Sports Blog is going to take a look back at 2009-'10.
We have pinpointed four standout athletes as candidates for Blog Athlete of the Year recognition. While this award may fall short of the glitz and glamour of an ESPY, the Blog Athlete of the Year recognition honors incredible achievement on and off the field of play for one Penn State student-athlete.
The All-Sports Blog has pinpointed four candidates to become the Blog Athlete of the Year. Our list includes women's volleyball outside hitter Megan Hodge, track/cross country standout Bridget Franek, Nittany Lion quarterback Daryll Clark and men's soccer forward Jason Yeisley. Over the next four days, we will present a case for each of the four athletes before announcing our pick for the Blog Athlete of the Year.
After presenting our case for Bridget Franek, we have turned to men's soccer forward Jason Yeisley for day two of the five-part series. Yeisley left Penn State as one of the most decorated student-athletes on campus. Looking through the quantity of awards Yeisley received in his four years at Penn State is a task in itself.
Unlike the other three Blog Athlete of the Year candidates, Yeisley's storied Penn State career was marked by excellence and adversity. After a serious knee injury forced Yeisley to miss the entire 2008 season, the Allentown native returned to the field for a stellar senior campaign.
If there was an award handed out to Penn State's comeback athlete of the year, the decision would have been unanimous. Yeisley's hard work and relentless rehabilitation paid off in 2009. He led the Nittany Lions to 12 wins, including an undefeated regular season home record, a second place finish in the Big Ten, the Big Ten Tournament title game, and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Yeisley was a central figure on the Big Ten's top scoring offense, totaling eight goals and five assists to tie for second on the team with 21 points. His senior season culminated with the conference's coaches naming him Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.
In recognition of excellence on and off the field of play, Yeisley was announced as the 2009 winner of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for men's soccer, an honor presented annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I men's soccer.
He then went on to be named the 2010 male recipient of the Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award, Penn State's Big Ten Sportsmanship award winner as well as the Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient. He graduated last December with a 3.61 GPA. Yeisley was then drafted by FC Dallas in the MLS.
Yeisley's contributions to Penn State Athletics stretch beyond statistics in the record books. What he accomplished during his senior season is truly remarkable. Overcoming a serious knee injury is an arduous task in itself. But to come back from an injury of that magnitude and excel on the field and in the classroom the way Yeisley did in 2009 is incredible.
Yeisley's Big List for 2009-'10
- 2009 Big Ten Men's Soccer Offensive Player of the Year
- 2009 winner of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
- Second on the team with 21 points
- Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award winner
- 2009 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team honoree