K-State signs touted JUCO QB Waters

Once heir apparent to Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein,

Kansas State quarterback Daniel Sams will face some serious

competition thanks to the signing of junior college transfer Jake

Waters.

Out of all 32 members of the recruiting class announced by

Kansas State on Wednesday, Waters might spark the most interest. He

directed Iowa Western Community College to a national championship

last season, passing for 3,501 yards.

Many had considered Sams the favorite for the starting job in

2013. The addition of Waters makes that much less certain – and

that is exactly the way Kansas State coach Bill Snyder wants

it.

”It will certainly advance Daniel’s play and vice versa,”

Snyder said. ”The greater competition you have at any position .

the better opportunities for your people to improve their

performance and feel compelled to do so and committed to do so, and

I think both of them are, so it’ll be – hopefully – good

competition.”

The NJCCA Offensive Player of the Year, Waters led his team to a

12-0 record in 2012. He completed 73.3 percent of his passes – an

NJCCA record – and threw 39 touchdowns and just three picks. Snyder

also saw less quantifiable characteristics that interested him in

the quarterback.

”You can see some of the leadership aspect, not all of it, but

you can see that there is a command presence there,” Snyder

said.

Waters is not the only Iowa Western signee with the potential to

make a big impact early for the Wildcats. Defensive back Travis

Green and defensive end Devon Nash, both Nebraska natives, also

signed with Kansas State.

Nash is one of four defensive ends in the signing class. Depth

at that position will be especially important as the Wildcats try

to make up for the loss of Meshak Williams and Adam Davis, both

All-Big 12 selections and pivotal members of the Kansas State team

that went 11-2 last season.

Overall, the class is heavy on defense, with 18 of the 32

signees listed to play on that side of the ball. More players at

those positions help create competition at spots vacated by

Williams and Davis at defensive end; Arthur Brown, Jarell Childs

and Justin Tuggle at linebacker; and Nigel Malone and Allen Chapman

at defensive back.

Brown, the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and a team

captain, will be among the most difficult to replace. Seven

linebackers signed Wednesday, but one in particular will likely

garner the most attention – four-star prospect Nick Ramirez. Kansas

State rarely lands four-star recruits, but it got one in the high

school star from Lee’s Summit, Mo., who recorded at least 115

tackles in both his sophomore and junior seasons.

He could contribute right away.

”You lose some linebackers, so I think that anybody that comes

in, we’ll certainly take a hard look at and see where he stands,”

Snyder said.

Kansas State seldom uses true freshmen, but with this class as

with past ones, the coach said he is open to the possibility of

freshmen playing. While many decide to redshirt, some do get

opportunities at the very beginning of their careers there.

”My encouragement to young guys is don’t make that decision

right now,” Snyder said. ”Come in and compete as hard as you can,

and when we get close, see where you are on the depth chart.”