For K-State fans, the names Jake Waters and Tyler Lockett are almost synonymous with each other. You cannot have one without the other, it seems.
For opposing coaches on the Wildcats’ 2014 schedule, they are already a nuisance.
The Waters and Lockett combination has been the focus of the 2014 K-State football team after the duo turned heads late last season with one stat-stuffing performance after another. With the secret out, the country waits for what could play out to be the school’s most dynamic quarterback/wide receiver combination in a single season.
“They really knock down and get work done,” sophomore wide receiver Deante Burton said. “You see it in Jake — I think he’s harder on himself than anyone will ever be. He can throw 100 perfect passes and one will kinda go over someone’s head or you have to reach for one, and he’s walking back to the huddle kinda getting after himself.”
Waters and Lockett are fine with the attention, though it is certainly not their focus.
“The pressure we put on ourselves and the pressure we put on the team inside this building is way more than anyone else is going to put on us,” Waters said.
According to several teammates, Waters and Lockett have not put too much stock in all the preseason hype. It has been business as usual, which means work as usual.
“Tyler, after a long practice, is out there stretching or out there on the jug machine,” Burton said. “He caught 500 passes the other day on the jug machine, because he dropped a ball and it stuck with him. Those guys enjoy this stuff, I think, but in the end I think they’re all hard workers and want to succeed.”
While the seniors said they hope to shatter the expectations placed upon them — no matter how high — both are aware that the real success of their connection could come from opening the door for the other offensive weapons.
The spotlight on Lockett should open up the field for the entire cast of K-State receivers and running backs to contribute.
“Every route (Lockett) runs, everything he does, he’s going to draw a crowd,” Waters said. “That might leave some favorable matchups for guys like Deante, Curry (Sexton), Kody Cook, Andre Davis. It gives them a chance to show what they can do and I have all the trust in the world (in them), so I’m not afraid to throw to them either.”
That bodes well for a quarterback, who is looking to better last year’s 2,469 passing yards and 18 touchdowns.
“I like sharing the ball around,” Waters said. “I’m going to throw it to the guy who’s open. Tyler is a great receiver and he’s going to get open more times than than not, but you have to take what the defense gives you. You can’t force anything.”