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In which BracketCat counts down the 19th day until the 2020 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State quarterback Nick Ast.

#17 Nick Ast
Junior quarterback Nick Ast (17) was promoted to backup quarterback midway through 2019 and saw action in five games. Judging by reports of Will Howard’s progress, he may have a battle on his hands this season to retain the backup job.
Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Disclaimer: As the 2020 football season still is “technically” scheduled to proceed as planned in Manhattan, with the recent delay of our season opener until Sept. 12 against Arkansas State, we will reset and continue this Countdown for just a little bit longer...

#17 Nick Ast

Redshirt Junior | 6-5 | 219 lbs. | Cimarron, Kansas
Nick Ast
Nick Ast
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Quarterback
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Second-String
  • Status: Preferred Walk-On

Nick Gerard Ast (b. July 4, 1998) is a preferred walk-on quarterback from Cimarron High School who likely will continue to serve as K-State’s primary backup quarterback in 2020.

Ast redshirted in 2017 and was voted the program’s Red Raider Award winner as the top scout team contributor.

He ran five times for 6 yards for the White team in the 2018 spring game and completed 1 of 2 passes for 1 yard, but he did not see any game action in 2018.

That changed in 2019. Entering fall camp, Ast competed with John Holcombe II for primary backup quarterback duties behind Skylar Thompson, but ultimately lost the competition.

However, when Holcombe later elected to transfer midway through the season, Ast served for the second half of the 2019 season as the primary backup quarterback.

Ast saw time in five games and completed all three pass attempts for 28 yards against Bowling Green, while he also had one rush for 2 yards against Kansas. He earned first-team Academic All-Big 12 accolades and graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

A four-year letter-winner for the Bluejays — including during his senior year under head coach Chuck Dirks, in which the team went 7-3 and won a league championship — Ast set career and single-game high school records for both passing yards and total offense.

He was a three-time honorable mention all-state honoree from The Wichita Eagle and was a high school teammate of current Kansas State defensive tackle Jaylen Pickle.

Ast also lettered four years in basketball — earning two all-state citations — and track and field, in which he was the state champion in the 100-meter hurdles. His father, David, was a three-year letter-winner for Kansas State at cornerback from 1983 to 1985.