MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State unveiled its 2013 recruiting class on Wednesday, highlighted by two four-star high school recruits and a trio of players from NJCAA champion Iowa Western, including Jake Waters, the top-rated junior-college quarterback in the nation.
By TONY ADAME
The Wichita Eagle
Two of Waters teammates, defensive end Devon Nash and defensive back Travis Green are both already on campus with Waters and participating in winter conditioning.
Waters (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) is expected to compete with Daniel Sams to be the starter. Sams backed up Collin Klein last season.
Were hoping it becomes a very competitive environment, K-State coach Bill Snyder said. Its important (Waters) is already here because he can go out and throw and catch with the other quarterbacks and receivers and take part in spring practice.
He is someone I watched an awful lot of film on. It was important for (co-offensive coordinator Del Miller) to see him in person, to see him do some of the physical things that you dont always see on tape. The people at his community college speak highly of him in regards to his leadership capacity and the physical skills he possesses.
After a quarterback, the Wildcats biggest needs appear to be on the defensive front, where they lose all four starters, including all-Big 12 defensive end Meshak Williams, a junior-college transfer similar to Nash.
K-State also signed Chris Brown, a 6-4, 345-pound defensive tackle from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College. Brown also had offers from Utah and Washington State.
We would have liked to have added more depth (on the defensive line), Snyder said. Today isnt the end of the process for this particular class, you want as many interior defensive linemen as you can get, but so does every other football program in the country. It seems to be the most complex position to recruit to.
Its important for (Nash) to come in and be here right now. We dont bring community college guys in to sit and watch. The hope is that he will make it a very competitive environment, that the players we have will make him better and he will make them better.
Conway Springs Tanner Wood (6-4, 237 pounds), and 6-1, 228-pound Nick Ramirez of Lees Summit West are the four-star recruits. Snyder debunked a long-standing assumption that Wood, a standout running back and linebacker in high school, would be automatically placed on defense with the Wildcats. Jordan Willis, a 6-5, 260-pound defensive end from Rockhurst could also contribute quickly.
Wood committed to K-State before his junior season.
Tanner will have his pick in regards to where he wants to play, Snyder said. We see him playing on both sides of the ball. ... We dont usually offer as early as we did in this instance, but we felt strongly about him and felt like it was the right thing to do.
Ramirez could also see playing time right away.
We feel like (Ramirez) could contribute. We lose some linebackers, so I think anybody thats coming in there, well take a hard look at where they stand, Snyder said. (Ramirez) is one of those guys that already has a good understanding of the position and goes hard from whistle to whistle.
Snyder said up to eight members of the recruiting class could end up as walk-ons, and up to three could be grayshirts high schoolers who graduate in 2013 but dont start classes at K-State until spring 2014.He also addressed the five-year contract extension he signed Jan. 31 that will keep him as coach through 2017.
The fact that we lost a couple of recruits was probably because I did come back, Snyder said, joking. I really dont know if (the contract) has an impact on anybody. As long as I feel like Im doing right by the university and the program and staying in decent health and helping young people, Ill be around for awhile.
If not, I wont. Its that simple.