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Walled Lake Western’s all-state wideout, Northwestern-bound Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen, ruled ineligible for 2019 season

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, August 9, 2019, 4:31 pm

WALLED LAKE — After graduating several key components of last year’s district championship squad, Walled Lake Western knew there would be some reconfiguring of the offense in 2019. 

But that was before they found out that Northwestern University-bound star wideout Abdur-Rahmaan Yaseen would be ruled ineligible to play in the fall, giving them another hole to fill.

“We’re in a second appeals process now, but we’re continuing as if he will not be there at this point,” second-year Western coach Alex Grignon said at Friday’s Lakes Valley Conference media day. 

“We’re deep at the skills. We’re not worried that way, but your heart breaks for the kid, because you know there are going to be some 19-year-olds playing that have transferred schools a couple of times. And this is a young senior that hasn’t gone to any other high school in his whole career, and is told he can’t play now. It’s devastating for him. He’s still going to be around with us, but it’s pretty heartbreaking. … This is all unaware until (the ruling), and all of a sudden, he just doesn’t have any of (his senior year).”

The MHSAA ruled that Yaseen — homeschooled before coming to Western as a freshman — started his eligibility clock before he ever played a down of football for the Warriors, because of his advanced schoolwork load.

 “Long story short, this happened years ago. He was a homeschooled kid that came in. Because he took too many classes as a homeschooled eighth grader that were freshman classes, his transcripts said that he was a sophomore coming in. Well, that got changed, but it never changed his eligibility. So, the MHSAA ruled that his high school clock started his eighth grade year when he was at home,” Grignon said. “So his semesters of eligibility are up.”

Yaseen was ranked as the No. 8 player in the state by Rivals (and the No. 51 wideout in the nation), while 247Sports has him as the No. 11 prospect in Michigan (and the No. 69 wide receiver). 

Before committing to the Wildcats in late December, the Western senior had offers from the Mid-American Conference (Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan), the Big Ten (Purdue, Rutgers, Maryland, Nebraska, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota), as well as Iowa State, Liberty, Washington State, Dartmouth, Louisville, Kentucky and Boston College, where last year’s quarterback, Sam Johnson III, is a freshman. 

As a junior, Yaseen had 53 receptions for 964 yards and seven scores, and picked off three passes on defense, and was one of two returning all-state players — along with Walled Lake Northern’s Kyle Arnoldi — in the LVC. 

The Warriors were picked for fourth in the LVC in the coaches poll, behind defending league champ South Lyon, Lakeland and Northern.