Washburn Rural standouts headed to K-State keep a close bond on and off the field

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Drake McCall and Jaylen Carter were stars for Washburn Rural last year and now they’ll both be headed to K-State in the fall to play for coach Chris Klieman. First, they’ll take the field together at this years Kansas Shrine Bowl for the East team.

They may have been teammates the last four years, but their bond goes back much farther than that.

Both Carter and McCall were excited to get back on the field this week and see some familiar faces.

“It’s definitely something to us because you see the guy that you always, when you go to a game, you know who he was because you were butting heads the whole game. But now you get to work together,” Carter said.

For the two rural standouts, the familiarity goes father than the field.

“Super little playing basketball together that’s where we met, and then we’ve been going to school since seventh grade, ” McCall said.

As their friendship grew, so did their skills on the gridiron, and they know each other’s game well.

“For Drake, definitely his ruthlessness, when it comes to the field he doesn’t really consider anyone’s feelings, he just goes out and balls,” Carter said.

“He can just be right in front of him and next thing you know he’s right next to you, sideways, he can just move so fast,” said McCall.

For their coach, who also happens to be leading their shrine bowl squad, it’s the end of a chapter

“We joke around like ‘Hey, I get to yell at you for another week'” before they head off on a new part of their lives and they’re both great young men and I think their work ethic and just the people they are will help them be successful there,” Washburn Rural head coach Steve Buhler said. Buhler is also coaching them on this year’s East squad

For the guys, K-State is on the horizon, but this is much bigger than football.

“We’ve had a good, really, really good friendship all the way through high school and I don’t see why it wouldn’t continue forever.”

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