As a two-sport star in high school, Ben Yurosek had many options when it came time to select a college.
Should the Bakersfield Christian basketball and football standout choose to play on the court or the gridiron? And if he was to select football, should he play defensive end or tight end?
In the end, this year’s BVarsity All-Area basketball and football player of the year decided to attend Stanford, where he hopes to be the next addition to “Tight End U.” Nine Cardinal tight ends have been selected in the NFL Draft in the past decade.
The most notable of those players is Zach Ertz, a Super Bowl champion and three-time Pro Bowl tight end, who was selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
While the similarities between the recent BCHS graduate and Ertz might seem obvious, Yurosek also has something in common with another famous tight end, Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez.
As the 2019-20 Cal-Hi Sports Grid-Hoop State Player of the Year, Yurosek joins a long list of talented two-sport athletes to receive the honor, including Gonzalez, who starred at Huntington Beach High and received the award for the 1993-94 season.
“Ben Yurosek is the most dominant high school football player I’ve ever been around,” said BCHS football coach Darren Carr. “His ability to lead and compete is unmatched. He has the respect and love of his teammates, his coaches and his school. I can’t wait to watch his dominance at Stanford University.”
The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder had 111 catches for 1,416 yards and 17 touchdowns the past three seasons, helping lead the Eagles to the CIF State Division 3A championship last season.
“It came down to the academic prestige of a world-class university and their ability to produce tight ends that can play at the next level,” said Yurosek after signing to play at Stanford last year. “It was the best of both worlds.
“I really like their coaching staff. I like the way they utilize the tight end in their offense with double-tight end sets, to using three and four tight ends."
In addition to football, Yurosek was a four-year starter on the basketball team where he led his team to the Southern California Regional Division IV championship this season. The title game was canceled due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the hoops season, the Eagles were 22-1 with Yurosek in the lineup following a 3-4 start. He averaged 14 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.
“It’s pretty special just to be a part of his journey, “ BCHS boys basketball coach Garrett Brown said. “He’s a kid that’s going to play on Sundays one day. You look at the list of all the people that have gotten this award … and they have gone on to have great careers, Hall-of-Fame careers. For Ben to be on the same level in terms of this award is pretty special. I couldn’t think of a better kid to receive this award.”