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97 DAYS TO (TENTATIVE) 2020 KICKOFF: Nate Matlack

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In which BracketCat counts down the 97th day until the 2020 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State defensive end Nate Matlack.

#97 Adam Davis
Incoming freshman Nate Matlack will follow in the footsteps of other athletic defensive ends who have worn numbers in the 90s, such as Adam Davis (97) before he switched to No. 50.
Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Disclaimer: As the 2020 current football season still is technically set to proceed as planned in Manhattan on Sept. 5, we will continue the Countdown as normal for now.

Nate Matlack

True Freshman | 6-4 | 220 lbs. | Olathe, Kansas
Nate Matlack
Nate Matlack
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Defensive End
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Redshirt
  • Status: On Scholarship

Nate Matlack (b. March 12, 2002) is a promising young defensive end who some recruiting services indicate is the most talented and athletic prospect in Kansas State’s Class of 2020.

Matlack picked K-State over offers from Air Force, Boise State, Illinois State, Kansas, Northern Illinois, Syracuse, TCU and Texas Tech, as well as interest from Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Rutgers, Southern Illinois, UCLA and Wisconsin. His primary recruiter was defensive ends coach Buddy Wyatt, with help from former defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton and quarterbacks coach Collin Klein.

Matlack, who played for Olathe High School East under head coach Jesse Owen, was rated the 30th-best weakside defensive end in the Class of 2020 by 247Sports, while he is viewed as the fifth-best prospect in the state of Kansas by ESPN and No. 6 by Rivals. According to 247Sports, he is the third-highest-rated defensive end the Wildcats have ever signed.

Sports in Kansas described Matlack, who has 4.6 to 4.7 speed with a 41-inch vertical jump, as “one of the biggest freak athletes in high school football in Kansas.”

A first-team all-state performer as a senior by The Topeka Capital-Journal and The Wichita Eagle, Matlack helped to lead the Hawks to a 7-3 record and a trip to the state playoffs in 2019. He signed with K-State during the early signing period in December 2019.

Asked about the impact of Matlack’s joining the class early, K-State head coach Chris Klieman said it was “huge. Nate has been a catalyst for Taylor Braet and continuing to bring in other guys in the fold and communicating with them through social media.”

Klieman also had high praise for the Matlacks: “Nate’s a tremendous football player, a better kid from a great family. They love K-State and want to be a part of K-State. We need guys from the state of Kansas, from Kansas City specifically. We need guys that want to be a part of K-State football because there are such great players in that region, as well as the state.”