Countdown to Kickoff: 2 days away with quarterback Jake Rubley, defensive back Russ Yeast

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)

Coming out of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Jake Rubley stands at 6 foot 3 inches and weighs 209 pounds. He played his first three seasons at Highlands Ranch High School under his father, T.J. Rubley, throwing for 3,892 yards and 39 touchdowns, along with 269 rushing yards and seven touchdowns over the first three years of his high school career.

After COVID-19 canceled his senior season in Highland Ranch, Rubley and his family moved to Des Moines, Iowa, so Rubley could play one final high school season.

Before the 2020 season, Rubley was named to the 2020 Sports Illustrated All-America preseason watch list. Unfortunately, Rubley only played in two games at Valley High School under head coach Gary Swenson before being told by the ISHAA that he was ineligible to play because of residency issues.

Before the opportunity to appeal his case came around, the state of Iowa canceled its football season entirely, leaving Rubley and his family stranded in Iowa for his final year of high school.

After high school, Rubley was rated the 25th-best overall prospect in the Class of 2021 by ESPN, along with the third-best pocket passer in the class and the top overall prospect in Iowa. Rivals had Rubley rated as the 12th-best pro-style quarterback in his class, while 247Sports had him at No. 22.

A four-star recruit according to Rivals, Rubley received offers from all over the country — including LSU, Michigan and Iowa — before committing to Kansas State on Jan. 1, 2020.

With this commitment, Rubley became the highest-rated quarterback to commit to K-State since Josh Freeman came to Manhattan in 2007.

With Skylar Thompson starting at quarterback for the Wildcats and Will Howard an almost guaranteed lock as his backup, Rubley will likely redshirt this season and help with the scout team. When Thompson leaves after this season, Rubley will have to battle for the starting quarterback position.

Up next is Russ Yeast, a senior transfer from Danville, Kentucky. Yeast stands at 5 foot 10 inches and weighs 195 pounds. He moved around a lot in high school, playing at Columbian High School in Tiffin, Ohio, as a freshman. He later played for his father, Craig Yeast, at Fremont Ross High School in Freemont, Ohio, as a sophomore and junior.

Yeast moved to Indiana his senior year and played under head coach Eric Moore at Center Grove High School as a running back and kick returner. During his senior campaign, Yeast totaled 1,525 rushing yards, 32 catches for 602 yards, 426 total kick return yards and 27 total touchdowns to help the Trojans go 12-2 and earn a trip to the state championship.

Yeast was named the IndyScout Player of the Year, the Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year and was runner-up for Indiana’s Mr. Football as a senior. He was also an all-state performer according to the Indiana Associated Press. He earned first-team all-state accolades and was named the Indiana Player of the Year by USA TODAY Sports.

Out of high school, Yeast was a four-star athlete according to Rivals, receiving offers from Alabama, Auburn and Oklahoma, among many others. On Oct. 24, 2016, Yeast chose to take his talents to the University of Louisville, where he played the past four years.

As a true freshman, Yeast started in seven games and saw action in 12, totaling 23 tackles — 15 of which were solo — and defending two passes. He had a season-high five tackles against NC State and Wake Forest. Yeast also saw time as a punt returner in five games, returning 10 punts for 33 yards.

Yeast fell into a bit of a slump as a sophomore, only recording eight tackles, four of which were solo. Yeast also recorded three kick returns for 59 yards.

Yeast had a career-best year in 2019 with 61 tackles— 38 of which were solo. He also had five passes defended, two forced fumbles and an interception against Clemson.

In his final season at Louisville, Yeast recorded 45 total tackles, including a season-high seven against Virginia Tech. He also recorded a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

For his final season of eligibility, Yeast chose to transfer to K-State, where he hopes to make an impact on a heavily loaded defense with transfers Timmy Horne, Cincere Mason and Eric Munoz.