Fifth-year senior Michael Yancich is another Nittany Lion who has gained versatility and expanded his gridiron experiences by playing multiple positions during his career. The former Trinity High School All-American returned to linebacker at the start of last season after spending a portion of 2011 at a tight end position that was lacking depth. The tough and physical Yancich made good progress during the off-season and will compete for more time in another strong "Linebacker U." rotation. He will look to battle returning starter Glenn Carson for playing time at middle linebacker. Yancich was on schedule to graduate in August and during the summer he served an internship with the Penn State Bennett Family Center on campus. Yancich is in his third year as secretary of the Penn State chapter of Uplifting Athletes, a non-profit charitable organization that raises funds and awareness for rare diseases. Founded by Penn State football teammates, the Penn State chapter of Uplifting Athletes raised more than $600,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association from 2003-11, including more than $100,000 in 2010-11. Yancich is among 16 returning Nittany Lions from Western Pennsylvania.
2011 Senior Season
Yancich was shifted to tight end prior to the start of 2011 spring practice, but returned to linebacker when the season began. He made a career-high six tackles in the season-opener against Indiana State, including a solo tackle for loss. Yancich also made two tackles against Nebraska and another at Wisconsin on defense and special teams to bring his season total to nine stops. He played a season-high 32 snaps against Indiana State.
2010 Junior Season
Yancich appeared in all 13 games as a linebacker and key member of the special teams units. He made four tackles (three solo). He made his first career tackle at Iowa and had a big stop on a kickoff return in the fourth quarter of the Michigan State contest. Yancich recorded two solo hits against Florida in the 2011 Outback Bowl. He saw action on 179 snaps last year, topped by 23 against Youngstown State, 19 against the Gators and 17 in the Illinois game.
2009 Sophomore Season
Yancich played in 10 games, gaining experience and providing depth for the talented linebacker unit that featured a trio of All-Big Ten players. He also saw duty on special teams. Yancich saw his most playing time in the wins over Akron, Eastern Illinois and Michigan.
2008 Freshman Season
Redshirt season. In the 2009 Blue-White game, Yancich led the Blue team with four solo tackles.
Playing for Coach Ed Dalton, Yancich was a standout at Trinity HS. He was selected an All-American by Tom Lemming and was named to the Offense-Defense All-America team. He also was a Class AAA first-team Associated Press all-state and PA Football News All-Pennsylvania first-team linebacker. Yancich was named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous 22, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 25 and was the Washington Observer-Reporter Player-of-the-Year in 2007. A first-team all-conference linebacker and running back, he was the 2007 Big 7 Conference Offensive MVP. He recorded 271 career tackles, with 30 sacks and four interceptions. As a senior, he made 134 stops, with 17 sacks and two picks. Yancich also gained 2,133 career rushing yards with 25 touchdowns, including 1,617 yards and 21 scores as a senior. A senior captain, he twice led Trinity to the WPIAL district Class AAA quarterfinals. He played in the 2008 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl, helping the East squad to victory. Yancich also played two years on the basketball squad.
Full name is Michael Thomas Yancich. He is the son of Tom and Mary Lynn Yancich. His mother is a special education teacher. He has an older sister, Jamie Lynn. Yancich enjoys hunting, fishing, movies and music. He is a rehabilitation services major. Born July 3, 1989 in Pittsburgh, Pa.