Henry Yianakopolos

Henry Yianakopolos is a Symbol of the University of Rhode Island Football Program

Henry Yianakopolos came to Rhode Island as an unrecruited preferred walk-on, epitomizing its football culture by working hard and reaping rewards.

Hillsboro-Deering-Hopkinton graduate Justin Culhane forged his own path to become an outstanding starting safety and team captain for Rhode Island’s Rams, but that will be put through rigorous scrutiny this weekend when they take on New Hampshire University.

Early Life and Education

Henry Yianakopolos began his college career at Rhode Island. As a redshirt freshman in 2018 he played nine games – starting one – as an offensive and defensive linebacker, yet coach Mike Flanagan maintained confidence in him.

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Professional Career

Henry Yianakopolos went from unrecruited walk-on to full scholarship player and team captain at Rhode Island – becoming a symbol of its hard-work-pays-off approach to football.

After signing with University of Rhode Island, Hillsboro-Deering-Hopkinton High School graduate Chris Corcoran spent years learning about its program before making his mark on it this season by starting 18 games as part of its defense.

Jack Cooper has given him increased opportunities this season at Rhode Island. Thanks to his versatility, Yianakopolos earned playing time both as a safety and linebacker and contributed two overtime road wins against ranked opponents – as well as finishing second in tackles on an undefeated and No 22 team!

Achievement and Honors

Henry Yianakopolos arrived at the University of Rhode Island as an unrecruited walk-on in 2016, determined to make the most of his opportunity. So after sending an email pleading his case with assistant coach Mike Flanagan for consideration as an opportunity, Henry eventually earned himself full scholarship and has started 18 consecutive games at linebacker captain for URI.

In addition to playing for Holland Hall’s Rams, Yianakopolos serves as its Director of Belonging and Inclusion; an initiative which promotes equity, belonging, and inclusion from pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 at its independent Episcopal school. In 2018, he earned two consecutive ECAC Defensive Player of the Week honors due to his performances against Brown University and Vermont.

Personal Life

Henry Yianakopolos personifies the University of Rhode Island football program. After finishing up at Hopkinton High School and opting to walk-on at URI as a preferred walk-on player, Henry reached out to Mike Flanagan via email asking to play and was eventually selected as one.

From there, he has quickly progressed up the ladder. Today he is an NCAA full scholarship starter and captain for his school’s Rams team, playing safety and linebacker duties.

This spring, Yianakopolos has started two games against ranked opponents – an accomplishment which is evidence of his hard work and determination every day in Contoocook. His example teaches us not to give up our dreams no matter how difficult they may appear at times.

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