The 15th and final spring practice for K-State football will be witnessed 10,000 or so of their closest friends during the annual Purple/White Spring Game this Saturday afternoon at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Wildcat fans’ interest will piqued by their first peek at the progress of quarterbacks Jake Waters and Daniel Sams as they battle to replace Heisman finalist Collin Klein.
The strong-armed Waters arrived at K-State during the winter after leading Iowa Western Community College to a junior college national championship. He threw 38 touchdown passes for the Reivers and was named the NJCAA offensive player of the year. Waters’ first task in Manhattan will be to digest Wildcat coach Bill Snyder’s massive playbook in the month leading up to this fall, a process that often takes other signal callers years to fully grasp.
“At Iowa Western, we were uptempo, just get to the line and go,” Waters said. “Here, you have to see what the defense is giving you a lot more, make your checks, and call your audibles. That’s the biggest difference because we do a lot of the same concepts, but the biggest thing is the speed of it.”
Waters says he’s spent every waking moment since he became a Wildcat studying film, and has impressed his teammates and coaches.
“He’s an intelligent young guy, and he works diligently at it,” Snyder said. “Mechanically he’s sound in what he does, and he’s learning the process of making decisions in an environment that’s schematically different than what he’s accustomed to.”
Sams’ running ability is well documented as he gained 235 yards on 32 carries with three touchdowns in mostly mop-up duty for Klein last season. His ability to throw the ball and command an offense is what still needs to be proven. The QB competition has forced both players to show their strengths and improve their weaknesses.
“Daniel can throw the football, he’s shown it all spring,” Waters said. “I can run it a little bit too, but I wouldn’t say we’re underrated. He can do both though as he’s a really good quarterback.”
The K-State Purple/White Spring Game will kickoff at 1:10pm on Saturday afternoon at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Powercat Gameday will air at noon on SportsRadio 1350 KMAN and 101.5 K-Rock.
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