Russ is the son of Craig Yeast, who was the SEC’s all-time leader with 208 receptions when he left Kentucky to play nine seasons of professional football in three leagues. The younger Yeast made his own name as a four-star recruit and state Player of the Year as an all-around offensive weapon at Center Grove High School in Indiana. Louisville signed him to play defensive back and he started seven games at corner as a true freshman in 2017 (23 tackles, two pass breakups). Yeast was a reserve in 2018 (eight tackles) before moving to a starting role at safety the following year (61 tackles, one interception, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles). He started 11 games for the second straight year in 2020 (45 tackles, three pass breakups) and then transferred to Kansas State for his final year of eligibility. Yeast led the Wildcats with four interceptions and 10 pass breakups in 13 starts last season, garnering first-team All-Big 12 honors for his play. — by Chad Reuter
By Lance Zierlein
Priority free agent
Louisville transfer who put together his most productive college season in his lone year in Manhattan. Yeast is a smallish safety lacking the speed for single-high or man coverage and the play strength to become a functional NFL run supporter. Yeast has had way too many busts in coverage over the years, but does show the twitch and ball skills to hound the catch when he’s in position. He’s a likely undrafted prospect who should find a camp invite.
- Able to pedal and gain depth quickly as a two-deep safety.
- Displayed noticeable improvement in eye balance in 2021.
- Plays with quick reaction time to play the throw in space.
- Makes well-timed ball challenges to shake throws loose.
- Was a reliable tackler in space in 2021.
- Father was a fourth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals and currently coaches high school football.
- Long speed falls below the mark.
- Wide receivers will outrun him on posts and over routes.
- Doesn’t play with consistent awareness.
- Bites on play-action and gets lost in coverage.
- Below-average burst to maintain positioning from route break.
- Takes suspect angles as a run defender.