Q&A With K-State Quarterback Jake Waters
A native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Waters is off to a solid start this 2014 football season as, after two games, he has connected on 35-of-57 passes with one interception for 462 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 193 yards on 37 attempts with four touchdowns.
On Sept. 6, Waters put on a show at Iowa State's Jack Trice Stadium where he led K-State to its 32-28 comeback win. Waters recorded 377 total yards, including a career-best 138 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. It marked one of the best games in his career, and that week he earned Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career.
Get to know the Wildcat quarterback a little better through today's Q&A:
Sports Extra: You had quite the game against Iowa State. We saw you out there fist pumping, just full of energy. What was it like to get out there and compete the way you did in your home state?
Jake Waters: It was awesome. The most important thing was that we won, but to kind of have a pretty good game like that, being able to run and throw, it all came together for me and for us as a team. Winning the way we did, it was a special feeling.
SE: Talk about that comeback, how proud were you of your teammates for not throwing in the towel?
JW: It was awesome. That's what Coach preaches all the time: finish, finish. Everything we do is all about finishing, and your true character as a team comes out in times of adversity like that, when you're down 28-13 and you go down and score before half. We needed a late drive at the end of the game to win it. That's awesome. You never know how you're going to react to situations like that until they happen, and to play the way we did, I think that gives us all confidence.
SE: You have a big game against Auburn coming up; are looking forward to that Thursday night environment here in Bill Snyder Family Stadium?
JW: We're all excited. We know it's such a big game; it's going to be a great atmosphere and a great time to play. That's what you kind of grow up wanting; you want to play in these big time games. Both teams are going to be ready. Both teams are going to be well-coached. So we just have to prepare the best way we can and go out and execute.
SE: What is your take on the Auburn Tigers so far this season?
JW: They're a great team, obviously. They're the national runner up, and they were only a series away from winning the National Championship last year, so it's definitely a great team. They're fast, physical and well-coached. So we have to bring our 'A' game and execute our game plan if we want to have a chance to win.
SE: When you're not out here playing football, what are some things people can find you doing?
JW: Well, laying around on the couch a lot. I'm roommates with Curry Sexton and we like to hang out. I haven't been a big hunter, but I have been going back to his home with him. He's from Abilene, and he's kind of teaching me how to hunt. I'm starting to really like it. We're just laid back guys. I just like hanging out with friends and family.
SE: Are there any professional athletes you model your game around or look up to?
JW: I don't know if I can model my game around anyone because I'm here and they're in the NFL, but guys I really like are guys like Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, guys like that who can run a little bit but like to pass. They're not the tallest guys in the world either, kind of like me, so I definitely like watching those guys play.
SE: Do you have either of them on your fantasy team?
JW: No, (laughing) unfortunately, no I don't.
SE: What is the best part about being a student-athlete at K-State?
JW: A lot. The support we get from the academic side of it, being a part of a special group - not a lot of people are able to be a student-athlete at a Division I school in the Big 12. It's definitely a special feeling, and the total support from the community and the coaches and the academic people, that's something I'm truly grateful for.
SE: Who is the funniest guy on the K-State offense?
JW: There are a lot of characters. Tyler Lockett, he's actually pretty funny, during a game or outside of a game he's shy, but I room with him on road trips and he's a pretty funny guy.
SE: Finally, when it's game day, and you walk through that tunnel into 50,000-plus fans cheering for the Cats, what's going through your mind?
JW: I take in the crowd, look around and take it all in for twenty or thirty seconds, but then I'm so focused on getting myself ready for the game, what we've been doing all week preparing and just getting ready for the game visualizing what we're going to see from their defense. That's a big thing, you take in the crowd for a little bit, but then you just kind of block it out and get ready to play.
K-State's Jake Waters scores the game winning touchdown against Iowa State's Nigel Tribune at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa on September 6, 2014. (Scott D. Weaver/K-State Athletics)