GREENWOOD, Ind. – Louisville signee Russ Yeast let out a long sigh of relief following the four-star cornerback’s signing day ceremony at Center Grove High School on Wednesday afternoon.
A U of L pledge since October, Yeast fielded a total of 20 scholarship offers during his recruiting process, including late interest from Notre Dame. Ultimately, though, Indiana’s Gatorade Player of the Year phoned the Fighting Irish Wednesday morning to inform them of his decision to remain committed to the Cardinals.
“I’ve been waiting for this to be over for a while now,” Yeast said. “I’m really happy and excited to be a Cardinal. I’m glad the process is over.”
“In the end, it was the relationships at the school and the fit. I also remembered all the reasons why I committed in the first place.”
Yeast said his final decision came down to the wire. An official visit to Notre Dame on Jan. 20 added some suspense to his recruitment, and Yeast said his a final verdict was made early Wednesday morning.
“They made it really, really tough,” Yeast said. “They made it extremely hard. They were sending seven coaches at a time to the house, calling me every night. It was definitely a tough decision for me to turn them down.”
The son of former Kentucky standout Craig Yeast, Russ committed to the Wildcats as an underclassman in 2015 before decommiting this past summer. After a visit to Louisville on Oct. 21, Yeast committed to the Cardinals on Oct. 24.
After his pledge to Louisville, Yeast was said to have shut down his recruitment, but Notre Dame made its late push and Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, despite his decommitment, visited the four-star cornerback on Jan. 18.
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In the end, though, Yeast is happy to be joining the Cardinals’ 22-man class. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound athlete won’t mind sharing the field with a Heisman Trophy winner, either.
“I’m extremely excited,” Yeast said. “We have a great relationship with all the other commits. We’re all ready to get there. Obviously, playing with Lamar Jackson is going to be really fun. I don’t know how long he’ll be there, whether it’s one year or two. I doubt it’s two, but it’ll be fun either way.”
Aside from Louisville, Notre Dame and Kentucky, the Under Armour All-American received offers from Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Indiana and Iowa, among others. He took official visits to Auburn, Iowa and Notre Dame in addition to Louisville.
Primarily an offensive weapon for his high school team, Yeast totaled 1,525 rushing yards, 602 receiving yards and 376 return yards for the 12-2 Trojans. Yeast led Center Grove to a Class 4-A state title game appearance. The Trojans topped Jeffersonville 62-6 in their postseason opener.
According to Craig, Russ’ decision went beyond the football field.
“At the end of the day, for him, it was just the right fit in terms of academics and what he wanted to get out of a college experience,” Craig said. “The program itself, I think he felt comfortable there. Once he settled down and he put all the cards on the table, his heart was in Louisville.”