Yernatich Continues Duluth’s Big Dog Tradition
Former Greyhound Representing On UMD O-Line
DULUTH, Minn- Former Greyhound and Duluth native Joe Yernatich has always dreamed of playing UMD football.
“Growing up a couple of blocks from campus I’ve always wanted to be a Bulldog, I told myself when I was little that’s who I want to be, that who I want to play for, so its been a dream come true.”
Playing his high school football career at Duluth East, it soon became clear the next level was a possibility.
Yernatich remembers, “It’s been a goal of mine, I’d say freshman year when I got pretty big I was like… is this going to become reality?”
After achieving his dream of making the team. It was time to earn his role following in the footsteps of the big dogs of Duluth before him.
“Happy to play for my hometown and continue that tradition of offensive linemen from Duluth, Garth played before me, I’m here now, hopefully there are more out there in the city that want to come here.”
However, that required adjusting to a faster paced game, and learning the ropes on the college gridiron.
“Right off the bat, first few days of fall camp everyone is the biggest fastest kid from their high school.”
After getting his feet wet, Joe saw the some field in 2015, but his break out season came in 2016, when he played in all but 3 of the teams 12 games.
Head UMD Football Coach Curt Wiese comments, “Joe has been one of those offensive lineman that has made himself a better football player, his work ethic, he’s been a great ambassador on campus, we’re lucky to have him on our team.”
Now as a junior, he’s accepting an even bigger role and continuing a proud tradition.
Yernatich explains, “Its essential since 7th grade on of hard work, just knowing that its all paying off to play Saturday.”
All in pursuit, of one team dream.
“I could play one snap a game, but if we win a national championship I’ll be content, we all want that as a team and community so that all that matter to me is to win a national championship.”