Waters to start at QB for K-State in opener
By DAVE SKRETTA
By DAVE SKRETTA
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jake Waters will be under center
when defending Big 12 champion Kansas State opens its season Friday
night against defending FCS national champion North Dakota State.
Sophomore quarterback Daniel Sams is expected to play at some point in the game.
coach Bill Snyder said on the Big 12's media teleconference Monday that
Waters, a highly touted junior college transfer, earned the nod over
Sams to replace departed Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein on their
strength of more consistent play throughout fall camp.
joined the program for the spring semester, and both of the quarterbacks
took reps with the first-team offense leading up to the week of their
"We were fortunate to have him at midterm last year, so he
got to go through the offseason program, learn a little about what our
work habits and invest himself in study time as it relates to our
offense," Snyder said. "There's an awful lot to learn as a quarterback."
particularly true in Snyder's complex system, which utilizes elements
of the read-option along with other offensive sets to confuse opposing
"I think as much as anything," Snyder said, "he invested
himself and he truly worked at it extremely hard and did above and
beyond what was asked of him."
Snyder also said that Sams missed
some "practice opportunities" during the later stages of fall camp, but
the coach did not say whether that was caused by an injury.
is considered the more polished passer after throwing for more than
3,500 yards, 39 touchdowns and only three interceptions for Iowa Western
Community College last season. Sams is considered the better runner
after gaining 235 yards in parts of eight games a year ago.
That situation isn't foreign to Snyder, who has juggled quarterbacks in the past.
2002, Ell Roberson was thought to be the better runner and Marc Dunn
the better passer, and while Roberson took the majority of No. 1 snaps,
Dunn still appeared in 10 games.
"I like the idea of having two
young guys that can play the position with somewhat of equal skill
level," Sndyer said, "even though they're somewhat a little bit of
difference in their game.
"What we're looking for is a complete
quarterback," he added, "one that can invest himself in the running
game, one who can invest himself in the passing game. And both of these
guys can do that. It's not a matter of having two totally separate skill
Waters will have some big shoes to fill on Friday night.
took over the job as a junior and led the perennially overlooked
Wildcats to the Cotton Bowl. He returned as a senior last season and
accounted for more than 3,500 yards, jumping into the Heisman race while
leading the Wildcats to the Big 12 title and the Fiesta Bowl.
made Klein invaluable, though, was his leadership ability. His natural
charisma made him the team's unofficial spokesman, and he was looked up
to by players on both sides of the ball.
That ability may be what ultimately lands Waters or Sams the job on a full-time basis.
not a vocal leader and we're trying to draw some of that out of him,"
Snyder said of Waters, "but he gained respect, which you can't have if
you don't have the respect of others, and he gained the respect of his
teammates by his consistent approach to the game.
"I have to say
too, I have a great appreciation for Daniel," Snyder added. "They were
in such heavy competition for the position. Daniel was a great asset to
Jake and still is."