Sams, Waters impress fans, coaches at spring game

Parker Robb | Collegian Sophomore quarterback Daniel Sams (far right) goes over the next play with his team during the annual Purple-White Spring Game Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

If Saturday’s spring game proved anything, it’s that no matter who wins the quarterback battle between junior Jake Waters and redshirt sophomore Daniel Sams, both players seem ready to fill the void left by Collin Klein’s graduation.

Waters opened the game with the purple team, which was composed of the starters on both offense and defense. However, K-State head coach Bill Snyder said that Waters’ placement with the purple team was simply a matter of a coin toss and not necessarily an indication that Waters held the edge in the race.

Both quarterbacks looked impressive in the spring game, although they played primarily against the second-string defense.

With the purple team, Waters threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns on 14-of-18 passing, while Sams went for 391 yards and four touchdowns on 18-of-28 attempts.

While Sams put up more yards, it took him more pass attempts to do so, and he had 10 incomplete passes compared to Waters’ four.

Nonetheless, both players looked ready to take the job in the fall. When asked, coach Synder said even he was not sure which prospective quarterback was more qualified.

“I cannot give you a distinct answer right now until we sit down and scrutinize things a little more closely in regards to this game as well as the other 14 practices,” Snyder said. “I saw some very positive things with both of them.”

Snyder said the play of the second-string defense was only “basic,” but he was pleased with the quarterbacks’ ability to throw the ball and manage the clock.

Other Wildcat players were also impressed with how their two quarterbacks looked on Saturday.

“As a linebacker, they are both great quarterbacks,” said senior Tre Walker. “With Sams, you have to worry about him running for a first down with his quarterback scramble. With Jake, you have to worry about being at the right place at the right time because as a quarterback, he is very accurate and can do what he did today.”

While stats say one thing, the eye test says another. And both Sams and Waters passed that test with flying colors on Saturday.

Sams proved he could throw the deep ball with great accuracy and also that he can scramble out of the pocket and pick up big chunks of yards. He got over 50 yards rushing despite the game’s two-hand touch rule concerning the quarterbacks.

As for Waters, he made throws that Klein simply couldn’t last year. In the first quarter, Waters was forced to leave the pocket and throw on the run on third down. In a full sprint, he rocketed a deadly accurate pass to senior wide receiver Torell Miller, who caught it and got the first down.

Overall, Waters seemed more capable of making the tougher throws on Saturday. However, it was clear that Sams has much more familiarity with the offense after spending a year as Klein’s backup. Waters will look to continue to develop his chemistry with the offense over summer camp.

“It’s a work in progress,” Waters said. “I’m getting comfortable with a lot of the stuff, but I have a long way to go. But I’m getting comfortable, and I started getting into a groove today.”

As for Sams, he is looking to simply try to focus on what he can control and let the rest sort itself out.

“I try not to worry about [the quarterback position],” Sams said. “I just concentrate on what I control, which is what I do in the huddle, what I do with the offense, and just let everything else come with it.”

Sean Frye is junior in journalism and mass communications. Please send comments to