MANHATTAN — Five years ago, wearing a white Kansas road uniform for Saturday's Sunflower Showdown would have been Harry Trotter's dream come true.

Instead, Trotter will again be decked out in Kansas State purple when the Wildcats and Jayhawks renew their in-state rivalry at 11 a.m. at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

"I grew up a KU fan and I would have loved to play there, but that's just not how the cards came out," said Trotter, a senior running back from Atchison. "I’m super thankful to be here."

Trotter is not the only Wildcat who feels that way, and who might take the KU game a little more personally than those players, fans and alumni simply looking for state bragging rights.

Senior safety Jahron McPherson also was ignored by the Jayhawks coming out of Basehor-Linwood High School, a short drive from KU's Lawrence campus.

"All of the Kansas players that we have, a lot of us take it personal that we were not part of their recruiting," said McPherson, who spent a season at Butler Community College before finding his way to K-State. "Some people grew up KU fans, and that kind of hits home when your own in-state team doesn't recruit you."

Trotter also took an indirect route to K-State after a standout high school career at Maur Hill-Mount Academy, where he rushed for 1,657 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior in 2015. He played one season at Fort Scott Community College and another at Louisville before joining the Wildcats and sitting out the 2018 season under NCAA transfer rules.

After occupying the No. 3 spot on the depth chart behind graduate transfers James Gilbert and Jordon Brown for much of last season, he got his big chance against the school he grew up idolizing. With Gilbert sidelined and Brown limited by injury, Trotter not only made his first career start in Lawrence, but rushed for a career-high 92 yards and a touchdown as the Wildcats rolled, 38-10.

It was the Wildcats' 11th straight victory in the series.

"It was very satisfying," Trotter said. "I knew going into the week I was going to be leaned on a little bit more, so I just tried to prepare the best I could.

"Every time I get a chance to play them, I just want to show them what they missed out on. I’m sure that all the Kansas kids want to do that. It’s just a fun game every year, (and) highly competitive."

McPherson, who made his first career start against KU in 2018, intercepted a pass in last year's game.

Unlike Trotter and McPherson, neither of whom were recruited initially by either KU or K-State, junior defensive end Wyatt Hubert fielded scholarship offers from both schools. But he noted that the Jayhawks were a bit late to the party.

"My interest in KU and their interest in me was very small," he said. "They did come to me after Kansas State had offered me, but by then I was already set in stone on coming to Kansas State.

"(But) growing up in Topeka and only being 30 minutes away from the university, it's kind of just a respect thing, how Kansas State came out and offered me first and had that trust and belief in me and KU really not having that was kind of a disappointment a little bit. But at the end of the day, Kansas State was the place I wanted to be."

Senior tight end Briley Moore, a graduate transfer from Northern Iowa, would have entertained any major college offer coming out of Blue Springs South on the Missouri side of the Kansas City metro area. But he, too, took note of the KU snub.

"I would like to say that I felt overlooked for a long time by any FBS program, but being so close to Lawrence, I always felt that there was a little bit of motivation in not being recruited at all by them," said Moore, who has flourished at K-State with a team-high 14 catches for 201 yards and a touchdown. "I went to one camp and talked to their coach there, and that was it."

That said, Moore has no regrets now.

"You control what you can control," he said. "If I were to be recruited by them, I wouldn't be able to be a Wildcat right now, and my path has worked out how I'd like it to."

McPherson said the thought still occasionally gnaws at him, though he's ultimately at peace with the way things worked out.

"It's not a grudge, but you kind of think about it, because I live 15 minutes away from Lawrence and it was kind of like, they didn't even give me a look," he said. "But I think K-State was the best fit for all of us, so I think that's the biggest thing."