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Friday, April 12, 2013
Snyder not showing any cards in QB race

By David Ubben

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder says less about less than any coach in the Big 12, and is making no exception about the contest to succeed Collin Klein as Wildcats quarterback.

Snyder spoke with the media for the first time this spring Thursday, and through five practices, if there was any development in the quarterback race, he didn't offer much of an update.

"We have had some ups and downs. I have been pleased with the progress that they are making, not necessarily with the consistency, but they have given us reason to believe that they are very capable," Snyder said. "It is just a matter of doing some of the things that they do on a very regular and consistent basis."

Both Daniel Sams, last season's backup, and junior-college transfer Jake Waters are working with the first team, but Snyder's not providing much in the way of readable tea leaves in regard to either having an edge this early.

"I think that they have been very competitive. I appreciate that and they work very hard in trying to develop their game. They do a nice job of helping each other," Snyder said. "I am proud of Daniel -- even though Jake is making it very competitive for him, he is doing all that he can to help Jake. Jake is a bright young guy and picks things up very quickly. It is just about the consistency and being able to do it the same way every time."

Sams obviously has more experience in the system and knowing what's expected, but it's definitely easy to see either player winning the job. Sams' speed provides a lot of excitement, but I have questions about his proficiency as a passer after seeing him play in person for the second half against Oklahoma State this year. Waters' reputation precedes him, but how well he navigates the transition from junior college to Division I will determine his future. That kind of thing is so unpredictable.

"He is a smart guy and is picking up things a lot quicker than I expected him to," receiver Tramaine Thompson said of Waters. "He has been definitely been putting in the film work and spending a lot of time working. Daniel has been helping him out a lot and they have been kind of helping each other out through this whole process."

Maybe Waters is Cam Newton, quietly preparing another run at the Big 12 title for the Cats. Maybe he's a backup that just provides insurance for Sams. Maybe he's somewhere in the middle, like last year's big juco prize: Quarterback Bo Wallace, who threw for 2,994 yards and 22 scores for Ole Miss last season.

It's too early to tell.