Countdown to Kickoff: 76 days away with offensive lineman Josh Rivas

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)

Josh Rivas, the 6 foot 6 inches, 320-pound senior from Hutchinson, Kansas, will likely see significant playing time for his fourth straight season.

Rivas played under head coach Ryan Cornelsen through high school and was ranked the 50th best guard in the 2017 recruiting class by ESPN. Rivas was also ranked the fifth-best player in the state of Kansas by 247Sports.

He was selected as a two-time First Team All-State honoree by the Topeka Capital-Journal and Wichita Eagle, earning All-State honors from the Kansas Football Coaches Association (KFBCA) as a senior.

During his senior year, Rivas was named the Division One of the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Offensive Player of the Year after leading the Salthawks to a 10-2 record, averaging 356 rushing yards per game. He was selected to play in the 2017 Kansas Shrine Bowl.

Rivas received multiple offers before deciding on Kansas State. Other football offers came from Kansas, Memphis, Missouri and Purdue. His signing announcement with K-State was made official on Feb. 1, 2017.

Rivas redshirted his freshman year in 2017 and did not receive any playing time. That changed going into the 2018 season. Rivas saw significant playing time in all 12 games, including starts against TCU and Iowa State.

Rivas helped K-State finish third in the Big 12, averaging 182.6 rushing yards per game, including a 184.2-yard average in rushing yards per game in conference games to rank second in the Big 12.

Rivas saw most of his playing time during the 2019 season, with action in all 13 games as a rotation offensive guard. His 2019 season earned him Second-Team All-Big 12 honors from the Associated Press.

That same season, Rivas helped K-State finish fourth in the Big 12 in rushing yards per game, with 178 yards per game. The Wildcats finished third in the league, with 29 total rushing touchdowns.

The 2020 season put everything together for Rivas, as he started in the first eight games of the season at left guard. He was an integral player on offense, helping the team tie for first in the Big 12 and 27th in the nation in sacks allowed (14) while leading the Big 12 and ranking fourth in the nation in RedZone offense efficiency at 93.9%.

Entering the 2021 season, Rivas is ranked the highest-graded interior offensive lineman in the country by Pro Football Focus.

Those stats put Rivas above high-touted linemen in the country like John Michael Schmitz of Minnesota, Wyatt Davis of Ohio State and New York Jets’ first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft Alijah Vera-Tucker.

Rivas will likely start as left guard during the 2021 season, making him a massive addition to an offensive line that started finding their groove towards the end of this past season.