Senior Yelm lineman Dylan Jemtegaard has his sights aimed at The Golden State.
Calling it a childhood dream fulfilled, Jemtegaard announced Monday, July 20, he would be heading south to play football with the University of California, Berkeley in the Pac-12 conference.
His announcement came a day after receiving an offer for a full-ride scholarship at the university.
The 6-foot-4, 265-pound standout offensive lineman had received more than 10 offers from a number of top football programs in the leadup to his commitment, including some Ivy League schools. The last couple months saw Jemtegaard receiving offers from his short list, which included San Diego State and Air Force.
But that all changed when the Golden Bears came knocking.
“I don’t know what more that you could ask for, to be honest,” he said of the school, noting his love for the campus and the strong rapport he developed with the school’s football program and its staff.
Jemtegaard said it all started with an email he sent to offensive line coach Angus McClure.
“I admired Berkeley and what they were doing,” Jemtegaard recalled. “About a month or two later, around March, was when I made contact with them.”
And the communication line stayed strong, Jemtegaard recalled.
Jemtegaard noted McClure told him they were interested in him because they saw him as someone who could move bodies and perform well within their offense.
“Obviously someone telling me they were going to fit me into an offense they were going to be making is pretty appealing,” he said.
Talks ultimately culminated in a campus visit and Zoom conference call between Jemtegaard, his family, the university and its coaching staff.
At the end of the visit, McClure and the staff mentioned they would reach out with a scholarship offer, Jemtegaard recalled.
And that’s when it clicked — he was in.
“I let the emotions take over a little bit, started crying,” Jemtegaard said. “I told them I was ready to commit.”
Berkeley was ultimately the last school on Jemtegaard’s list he was considering, and arguably his most coveted.
The next day, Jemtegaard announced his commitment to the Golden Bears in a post to Twitter, effectively ending the recruitment process for the three-star athlete.
“I want to thank the community of Yelm for the endless support and faith in me as a young man. Special thanks to Jacob Dimond and Bradley McGannon for being excellent role models, and setting the tone for Yelm lineman,” he wrote, also thanking coaches, family and friends.
In addition to being a versatile leader on Yelm’s offensive line, Jemtegaard has also shown dedication to hitting the books (if the 3.95 GPA and acceptance into University of California didn’t already tip you off).
Jemtegaard is currently considering studying either engineering or business.
“I’m really excited for him. I think he’s making the right choice and putting academics in front of everything,” Yelm Head Coach Jason Ronquillo said.
With recent news that the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association moved football to start in March due to the ongoing coronavirus health crisis, Jemtegaard views recent season rescheduling as a double-edged sword.
It’s unfortunate that he and his team aren’t going to be able to work the gridiron this fall, Jemtegaard said, but he’s thankful for the extra prep time.
The hope is that they can hit the ground running.
“I would definitely say my expectations have risen. We’re going to be doing great things this year … We’re really a team that handles adversity very well,” he said.