Life after Collin Klein has started.
Kansas State is a week into its spring drills and the competition is on as to who will be the starting quarterback … the man behind center who follows Mr. Klein, a 2012 Heisman Trophy finalist.
“We hope it will be a competitive situation, but that remains to be seen,” said KSU coach Bill Snyder. “We’d like it to be competitive in such a way that it would help each other get better, but that’s no different than any other position on the team.”
The leading two quarterback candidates are returnee Daniel Sams, and newcomer Jake Waters. Today we feature Waters. Tomorrow our focus will be on Sams.
WATERS … A TRUE WINNER:
Jake Waters is a 6-foot-2, 218-pound transfer from Iowa Western Community College, where he led his club to a national championship in just the school’s fifth year of playing football.
In picking the Wildcats over Penn State, Waters said, “God showed me a sign that K-State was the best place for me.”
No one is happier about that than quarterback coach Del Miller, who said of Waters, “He’s a proven winner. He won two state championships at the high school level (37-2 three-year record) at Council Bluffs (Iowa), and then again at the community college level.
“He brings leadership. When you watched his team, you watched players come to him,” said Miller. “He’s just a natural leader and a guy who makes great decisions.”
As a prepster, Waters passed for 5,288 yards and 70 touchdowns, while running for 1,820 yards and another 28 scores.
At Iowa Western he completed 73 percent of his passes for 3,501 yards out of a spread offense that had similarities to what K-State runs. He totaled 39 touchdowns and just three interceptions, plus his team averaged better than 60 points per game prior to defeating Butler Community College, 27-7, for the national title.
In Miller’s words, “That’s pretty salty. He has a very good arm and a quick release.”
Fearing injury, Waters, who was the National Junction College Player of the Year, seldom ran and never played a whole game because blowout scores. Against Dupage, Ill., Waters passed for 307 yards and five touchdowns … in the first half … of a 65-21 victory over the No. 17 team in the nation.
Now a Wildcat, Waters said, “I just want to come in and earn some respect and compete for the starting job. Nothing is going to be given to me. I just want to compete. I’m looking forward to that.”
Speaking of Waters, co-offensive coordinator Dana Dimel said of Waters, “Like Collin, he’s intelligent and can really orchestrate an offense. He’s a good player who can become a really good player. You don’t want to compare anyone to Collin, and his skill set is not exactly like Collin’s, but he does many of the same things.”
Dimel added, “He has a lot of good returning players around him, so there should be the chance to get off to a good start. We’ll see, but we think he has the chance to be good.”