Countdown to Kickoff: 97 days away with defensive end Nate Matlack

Leading up to the start of K-State's 2021 football season, the Collegian takes a look at what to expect and highlights every player on the roster. (Archive photo by Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

A former three-star prospect from Olathe East High School, Nate Matlack was ranked the 32nd best weak-side defensive end in the 2020 recruiting class by 24/7 Sports. He was also ranked the 5th best prospect in Kansas by ESPN and the 6th best prospect by 24/7 Sports.

According to 24/7 Sports, Matlack is the third-highest rated defensive end Kansas State has ever recruited.

Matlack was recruited by defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton and former K-State quarterback Collin Klein. He was highly touted as “one of the most freak athletes in the state of Kansas” by Sports in Kansas.

He proved the statement true by recording a 4.6-4.7 40-yard dash time and holding a vertical jump of 41 inches.

Matlack grabbed more than just K-State’s attention, receiving nine other offers from Division I programs like Air Force, Boise State, Kansas, Illinois State, Syracuse, TCU and Texas Tech.

Matlack hasn’t seen much of the field yet but did pull down an interception on sophomore QB Will Howard during the Wildcat’s open spring practice game.

“He’s definitely a hard worker,” former All-Big 12 defensive lineman Ryan Mueller said about Matlack to K-State Sports. “Every time we get together in drills, he’s a leader in the group — he’s giving one-hundred-and-ten percent effort. … He’s taken full advantage of his resources in reaching out to guys who went down a path he is going down.”

Matlack may not see the field immediately with the presence of respective senior and junior defensive ends Bronson Massie and Khalid Duke ahead of him on the depth chart. However, there is a solid chance Matlack could see the field in rotation sets if he continues to impress the coaches as he has so far.