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Signing Day 2014: Rick Neuheisel, Yogi Roth sell Mike Yam on academics

Jan 27, 2014

Last week, our pair of coaches – Rick Neuheisel and Yogi Roth – began their courtship of highly touted recruit Mike Yam. Today, the recruitment zeroes in on one of the most important topics of the process – their school's academic prowess.

The goal of any college player is to take their talents to Sunday afternoons, but a solid degree is what will ultimately take a well-rounded student-athlete to the next level in life. And though Neuheisel and Roth are intent on bringing Mike to either Manhattan Beach University or Venice University, respectively, to produce plenty of wins on the field, both Mike and his family know that rigorous academic standards are what will lead to success in the years after football.

"You really make sure you talk about academics first," Roth explains. "It's what the reality is for most of these kids."

During his years at Colorado, Washington and UCLA, Neuheisel says he made absolutely sure to hammer home just how important finding the right academic fit was for each student-athlete. That took both selling the athlete on his university's educational reputation and making sure the parents, grandparents and inner circle of that player were satisfied as well.

Both coaches say that recruiting the family on their school's classroom experience is what really tips the scales when it comes to an athlete making that big decision.

"Every kid dreams of being an All-American," Roth says. "It's the adult's job to think long term."

Academics are just one of the four key topics that Roth and Neuheisel are selling Mike on as he makes his decision, which he'll reveal on Feb. 5 during the "Pac-12 Football Weekly: Signing Day Special" on Pac-12 Networks.

Don't forget to weigh in on Twitter with your pick of where Mike should commit. Tweet your take with either #TeamRick or #TeamYogi.