Jake Waters burst on to the junior college scene last season, quarterbacking Iowa Western to a national title behind record-setting numbers.
This year, he'll get an opportunity to translate that success to the next level.
Waters, who transferred to Kansas State in the offseason, was named the Wildcats' starting quarterback on Monday, beating out dual-threat speedster Daniel Sams.
“Jake just displayed more consistency,” KSU coach Bill Snyder said during the Big 12 teleconference. “In terms of managing the offense, being able to provide the kind of leadership we want and the actual physical aspect of it. It's mental, emotional and physical and there was more consistency in (Jake's) presence during these 24, 25 practices.”
Waters threw for 3,501 yards, 39 touchdowns and only three interceptions at Iowa Western last season, setting an NJCAA record with a 73.3 completion percentage.
Snyder indicated that Sams, while not the starter, would likely still get some snaps.
CHARLIE WEIS LIKES THE EARLY BYE WEEK
Across the country, teams are eagerly prepping for college football's highly anticipated opening weekend.
But not in Lawrence, Kan. The Jayhawks instead have a rare Week 1 bye, not opening until Sept. 7 against South Dakota.
But that doesn't seem to bother Charlie Weis, who expressed genuine appreciation for an extra week to prepare his revamped roster for the rigors of the season.
“Normally, I wouldn't like the extra week now,” Weis said. “But because we have so many guys that we're counting on who were junior college guys and just arrived here, I think it's given us an opportunity to take this week and go through a simulated game week as if we're playing this Saturday. In this isolated incident, it really plays, in our case, to our advantage for us in this calendar year.”
KU finished last season on an 11-game losing streak.
KINGSBURY COMMENTS ON FRESHMAN QUARTERBACKS
As Trevor Knight prepares for his OU debut, talk on Monday's Big 12 teleconference shifted to the debut of some other recent freshman quarterbacks, most notably reigning Heisman winner Johnny Manziel.
At this point, it's unfair to compare the two.
But Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, who was Manziel's offensive coordinator at Texas A&M last season, gave some good insight into when you truly know what you have in a young signal-caller.
“After camp and spring practices, you have a pretty good feel,” Kingsbury explained. “But until the lights come on and you see them out there doing their thing and it's tackle to the ground, you really don't know exactly what you have. And I know last year, on that first drive against Florida with Johnny, we knew we had a good player, but we didn't know we had a great player until then.”
Robbie Rhodes could be Baylor's next big receiver
Each season, the consistently explosive Big 12 introduces new NFL-level playmakers to the football world.
Some come from out of nowhere. Some arrive amid plenty of offseason buzz.
Count BU freshman wideout Robbie Rhodes among the latter. The five-star true freshman has opened eyes in fall camp, catching four passes for 112 yards and a touchdown in a recent scrimmage, proving to be one of the league's most promising playmakers.
“We hope he can be an impact player,” Art Briles said on Monday, clearly trying to temper expectations. “It's hard to be an impact player in the Big 12. You have to really, really be dynamic and get opportunities. And that's probably going to be the thing that's gonna limit Robbie from doing that, is his opportunities because he's young and just getting going. But we certainly believe he has the capability to be a breakout player.”
TCU STILL YET TO NAME A QUARTERBACK
As an admitted strategic ploy to keep LSU in the dark, Gary Patterson remains firm in his stance to not reveal his starting quarterback for the opener.
“You'll know when they run on the field,” Patterson said. “Both of them will be captains.”
Patterson is choosing between Trevone Boykin, an elusive run-first quarterback who showed strides in the passing game last season, and Casey Pachall, the talented gunslinger returning from a hiatus for off-the-field issues.
“Trevone has really improved what he can do, he's got a different skill set. And Casey has really improved from the spring, when he was a little bit rusty,” Patterson said. “Casey's proven, he's 15-2 as a starter. And then Trevone was three out of the four wins we had on the road, he proved he could win on the road in the Big 12. He's a lot better quarterback now, on and off the field, than he was last year.”
Bob Stoops, when asked about his offseason comments on the SEC:
“First of all, I haven't talked a lot about the SEC over the summer. I was asked one question in one interview and gave a lengthy answer where only part of it was used. Then a lot of other people talked about it. That's the truth of the matter.”
Paul Rhoads on expected starting quarterback Sam Richardson:
“Probably leadership would be his biggest amount of growth. His physical skills have grown as well. But just his leadership, his poise, his control of the offense, that comes with maturity, growth and repetition.”
Mack Brown on the low national rankings for the Big 12:
“The polls only matter at the end of the year, not the beginning. But I think our league hasn't gotten near the credit, nationally, that it deserves.”
Dana Holgorsen on his two competing quarterbacks, Clint Trickett and Paul Millard:
“Ultimately it's about the guy who's not going to make the mistakes.”
Mike Gundy on why the Big 12's reputation is down nationwide:
“I think (because) there's much fewer quarterbacks returning that have NFL capability. Over the last few years, we've had four or five guys in this league that were returning starters that had the ability to play in the NFL at the quarterback position. And I think that's where your preseason rankings come from.”