“For one change always leaves a dovetail into which another will fit.”-Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince
The starting quarterback position at Kansas State has always enthralled the Wildcats’ fan base – mainly because of the amazing players that have held that spot over the last 20 years.
The most captivating thing, to me, has always been how much the fans invest in the guys that end up in this spot – keys to the kingdom and all that.
So that’s why the first two games and the buzz around backup quarterback Daniel Sams have been so interesting. Filling in for Kellis this week, I’ve received more texts/e-mails about Sams then any other player. Yes, he’s exciting to watch. Yes, he’s run for 108 yards on just six carries and scored three touchdowns. The buzz has reminded me of when Jonathan Beasley was the quarterback and Ell Roberson was waiting in the wings – that’s not to compare Beasley to Collin Klein at all, just the way the fans have reacted is similar.
Each time he was available for interviews this week, Bill Snyder answered questions about Sams. Specifically, if he could get on the field with Klein.
“We could, but then we’d have 12 players on the field,” Snyder deadpanned. “And we’d get flagged.”
Sams is an exciting player, yes. If you’re around him for five minutes, you pick up on his confidence. He already carries himself like a starter. But I don’t know that he’s ready to do much more than he is doing right now, which is getting in games and using his athleticism to make plays after the outcome has already been determined and the game is turned into a glorified scrimmage. I think that mainly because no one has seen him throw the ball. Even Collin Klein, who has developed into one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, wasn’t able to win games consistently until he developed into – at best – an average passer last season. And that was a long process.
So appreciate what Klein has become and what he’s accomplished – because he may have laid down almost an exact template for how Sams can succeed at Kansas State after he leaves.
Here’s some high-school footage of Sams actually throwing the ball.