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Oregon State redshirt junior running back Kieran Yancy stands 5-foot-5 and 178-pounds but don’t doubt the numbers as being a hinder to his goals.
"I see my size as an advantage, others might disagree, but that’s fine with me," Yancy said. "I know what kind of impact I can have on the field. I’ve been doubted before, it doesn’t affect me anymore."
Yancy, who has been doubted because of his size ever since he started playing football, has proved his doubters wrong. His abilities shined even when he was young.
"He was always gifted when it came to football," his older brother Kamaron Yancy said. "His ability to make people miss when he has the ball is was something that not all players possess."
The Pacoima Calif., native comes from a football family. His father, William Yancy, played for the Los Angeles Rams and passed down the gifts to Kieran's older brothers, Kellan, who played for the University of Houston, and Kamaron, who played for the University of Utah.
Yancy was never the star player on his high school team as Chaminade High had a wealth of talent, with five players receiving Division 1 scholarships. Yancy’s skills were overshadowed by teammates being highly recruited.
"I was never THAT guy," Yancy said. "I had a lot of teammates who were extremely talented, but when I had my chance, I would make the most of it."
His senior year, Yancy started as a slot wide receiver. Chaminade High School made it deep within the California Division II playoffs when the coaches decided to move Yancy to running back. Even as a backup running back to future Colorado back Donavan Lee, Yancy shined in the playoffs with six total touchdowns and another two scores in the state championship game.
Yancy then began a difficult part in his journey to Oregon State, the recruiting process.
"It was tough. A lot of coaches would tell me they see my talent but couldn’t take a chance on my size," Yancy said.
"That’s just how it goes," Kameron Yancy said. "If he was 5-foot-10, coaches would have been calling him every day; he would have been a top recruit."
Yancy’s recruiting landed him at Saddleback Community college where he spent his freshman year in 2014. That same year, Kameron took an opportunity to be part of the Oregon State football coaching staff as a graduate assistant defensive backs coach. Kieran Yancy saw this as an opportunity that he had to seize. In the fall of 2015, he walked onto the Beavers' football team.
From there, Yancy has proven that he is a very important asset to the team. Though he redshirted in fall of 2015, Yancy has improved all aspects of his game, and has made big statements to get on the field in spring 2016 and 2017.
Yancy’s breakout spring was in March, where he displayed his skills and explosiveness numerous times in scrimmages, being the leading rusher and showing toughness time and time again. Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Yancy will contribute to the team tremendously.
Yancy has shown doubters that he belongs as a Division I running back. He has proven that it really is heart over height.