The recent unraveling of the University of Kentucky football team’s 2017 recruiting class continued Thursday night when wide receiver Russ Yeast backed out of his commitment to the Wildcats.
The latest de-commitment comes as a blow to Kentucky pride as Yeast is the son of Craig Yeast, a UK Athletics Hall of Famer who broke numerous school and Southeastern Conference records as a wide receiver in the 1990s.
“I would like to thank the whole BBN family of fans and coaches for the wonderful opportunity in this recruiting process,” Russ Yeast said in a message he posted on his Twitter account. “After much discussion with my family, I have decided I will back off my commitment to the University of Kentucky. I truly feel this is the best course of action in order to make the right decision for me.”
Yeast, rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, attends Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Ind. In addition to UK, he has been offered a scholarship by Louisville, Ole Miss, Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa and numerous others.
The younger Yeast committed to Kentucky last July, on a day when the Wildcats also brought in commitments from four-star Ohio prospects James Hudson and Michael Warren. Those two players have also since reneged on their commitments to UK. Kentucky also recently lost a commitment from four-star quarterback Mac Jones, who chose Alabama over the Wildcats.
Rivals.com recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt praised Russ Yeast at the time he committed to UK as “a great football mind.”
“The thing that gets you most excited about Russ is that he’s the son of a coach and the son of a record holder at Kentucky,” Helmholdt told the Herald-Leader about the 5-foot-10, 172-pound prospect. “He knows football. ... And I think that comes out even more when you’re watching him on film and you see the impact that he has on a game.”
Craig Yeast coached his son at Fremont (Ohio) Ross High School before taking the offensive coordinator job at NCAA Division III Franklin College in Indiana in January.
Craig Yeast led the Wildcats in catches in each of his four seasons in Lexington (1995-98), and he remains the program’s all-time leader in receptions (208), receiving yards (2,899) and receiving touchdowns (28).