What is Northwestern University getting in Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen?
“They’re getting a great athlete, great receiver, an on- and off-the-field great person,” he said.
Many would agree with his self-assessment. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Walled Lake Western senior has long been in the spotlight for his receiving skills — 247Sports Composite ranks him as one of the top 100 wideouts nationally — and the fact is, if the ball comes near Yaseen, he’s going to make things happen.
Yaseen scored two touchdowns Friday, both coming on fourth-down plays, in Western’s conference title-clinching 40-10 victory over South Lyon. On the first, he outjumped two defenders to snag a high throw, deked a third defensive back, and raced into the end zone to complete a 38-yard scoring play.
On the second, he got a step on his defender and caught the 23-yard pass at the goal line. Yaseen finished with nine receptions for 114 yards, with another 33-yard catch negated due to a holding call.
That’s not the extent of his talents, though. Yaseen uses those pass-catching instincts as a defensive back. The Warriors (6-1, 6-0) can use him as a punt and kickoff returner. They’ll go to him on the jet sweep.
And Friday against South Lyon, Yaseen had a couple of firsts: On several occasions, he took Wildcat snaps and ran the ball, and in the fourth quarter, he threw his first touchdown pass after finding MacKenzie Elebra in the clear from 30 yards to give the Warriors a 34-10 lead.
“We had a great feeling that it was going to work,” Yaseen said. “When I was (lined up) at quarterback, they definitely thought it was a run. We just snuck a tight end behind them and it was a touchdown. Yeah, not really surprised — we knew he was going to be open.”
Said Walled Lake Western coach Alex Grignon: “We ran that play a few times earlier and nobody was covering the tight end. We just said, ‘Catch it, and if the tight end’s open, throw it to him.’ ”
That underscores the level of trust Grignon has in his four-year varsity veteran.
“He’s a freak athlete,” he said. “He’ll be in the NFL one day for a reason, he’s probably going to start at Northwestern next year for a reason. He’s a phenomenal football player, he’s smart, and it’s pretty easy to say, ‘Take the snap, and throw or run.’ He’ll make something happen and make me look good.”