K-State Holds Weekly Football Press Conference

Head Coach Bill Snyder
On the preparation of the team...
"I think that we are reasonably on track. The effort has been good during this period of time. It goes fast. There are days where everything does not go the way you want it to, but I think the effort is there. I think the execution is still in the polished stage, but it is a long season. We take it one game at a time. Becoming effective in the fundamentals and execution and what your assignments are is something that is ongoing, obviously. We just are not quite there yet as far as that part goes. I am comfortable with the effort so far."

On the team's confidence with Jake Waters...
"I think they have confidence in Jake (Waters). Jake has said on numerous occasions that he feels more comfortable and that he gets it a little bit better. That should go with experience. I think all the youngsters that you have mentioned think that. It is just not the quarterback spot. It is all across the board. It only makes sense with years of experience under your belt that you should be an improved player. You should have greater confidence in your capabilities and that should show. Consequently, your teammates identify with that as well. Like I said, it is just not Jake, anybody would want to, B.J. Finney, all the players who respond to Jake and anticipate and expect he is working diligently to become better and he will get better through experience."

On if the running back competition was close...
"Well, it was and whether or not it (depth chart) holds true remains to be seen. It is not set in stone right now. It is still competitive and will remain competitive throughout the course of the week. There is a today and tomorrow. If there is a change we will identify that. Like I said, it is not written in stone."

On focusing on the main points for season opener...
"I think the same thing that we always talk about. Number one: not take anything for granted, not taking their own performance for granted, not taking their improvement for granted and not taking opponents for granted. I think the other component is just to continue to improve. It is just not a week of preparation that you plateau in your improvement. That has to be ongoing throughout the course of the year. Just keep getting better and that is virtually what we talk about."

On expectations of Jack Cantele...
"Well, it is good to have a returning kicker when they go through the uprights. Jack (Cantele) is a very conscientious young man and I appreciate that a great deal. It is important to him, and I think he is enhancing his range a little bit right now. Consistency is still growing and that is a major factor for a place kicker. It has gotten better since we have gone through the workouts."

On the four late-arriving community-college players earning playing time...
"Obviously if you come in after camp has started and you've missed all of the spring and summer workouts, it's not an easy task to get yourself on the depth chart where you'd like to be. But we see promise and a good possibility. When that would take place or how quickly that would take place remains to be see. That's up to them."

On the competition along the offensive line...
"We need more. I like the fact that our number ones have tried to enhance the competitive environment. In other words, trying to bring the twos along. As I indicated, I think the effort for the most part has been good. I don't think we're as deep right now as I'd want us to be. I can't remember in the years that I've been here that we've had 10 guys and said they are interchangeable. Normally we have eight, and right now we are reasonably close to that but not yet as far as having eight players that you could implement into a game plan. One thing we do and always have done is our players have a versatility to play a variety of different positions. They can play across the board for the most part."

On Jordan Willis and Elijah Lee...
"There are some similarities there - one is older than the other in terms of experience. Both of them play hard. That's what I appreciate. They are going to give their best effort all the time every time. Jordan is one of those guys that is the epitome of daily improvement. He gets himself a little bit better day in and day out. Elijah, it's kind of new to him to experience that. He's made some headway. He's a pretty good athlete as well. I like both of them."

On what gives Charles Jones the early edge at running back...
"He's at the top of the list and may not be alone at the top of the list. He's one of those young guys where I've seen improvement come. It's important for our backs to be versatile and be able to handle all aspects of the game. Obviously to be able to run the ball well with some explosiveness and to be able to block well and be active in the passing game as a receiver. I think he's made improvements in all three of those areas. DeMarcus (Robinson) is in contention as well for that. DeMarcus has made improvements in those areas as well. They are getting better at being multifaceted running backs."

Senior Quarterback Jake Waters
On receivers other than Tyler Lockett...
"They are taking that next step to being able to contribute. They were not ready in spring ball. They had a tough time getting the plays down because it is different than coming from high school or junior college to come in and play. They have been all ears. They are listening, and they have been working hard. I am expecting some big things from them."

On preparing for Stephen F. Austin...
"It is tough to prepare because you do not know how they are going to change with their personnel. You just have to look at the schematics of what they did and what the defensive coordinator did at his old school and their spring game. It definitely is tough, but that just makes it harder on us. We have to go out there and be focused during the game."

On the running back competition...
"It is a great competition. Charles (Jones) and DeMarcus (Robinson) are the one and two right now and they did a great job. They are very similar in what they do and they are both going to help us."

Sophomore Fullback Glenn Gronkowski
On being comfortable with Jake Waters returning as quarterback...
"I believe so. Obviously the first year that Jake had, it's hard to learn, hard to get used to things. I think definitely when you come back and you know the playbook as well as he does, I not only think that's why these quarterbacks have had such success, but it definitely rubs off on us. Obviously we see the confidence he has now. We get that confidence too."

On the running back competition...
"Both players are doing a great job every day getting better, trying to learn plays. We will see maybe a couple carries here and there for me, but I'm not real positive on that. It's a real good competition between DeMarcus Robinson, Charles (Jones), Jarvis (Leverett Jr.); they are all doing a great job right now, so it will be interesting."

On similarities between DeMarcus Robinson and Charles Jones...
"I think they both are pretty similar, both are big backs. They both are good downhill runners and good pass blockers, so they definitely have a lot of positives to them."

Sophomore Running Back Charles Jones
On winning the starting spot...
"I guess I proved that I was the most versatile back. It was a hard fight through camp and I still think (DeMarcus) Robinson and I are going to get a lot of carries and Jarvis (Leverett Jr.) with some carries also. Even though they said I was the starter, we still have a strong three running backs."

On other teams undervaluing the run game...
"I feel like we have a strong receiving corps and a great quarterback, but we are also going to have a strong run game. Like you said, they will not expect it and take people out of the box to protect for the pass. Hopefully that will free up some space for us in the running game."

On the competitive nature of the position...
"It has made it so we cannot be complacent, but every day in practice we have to come in and work. We did not take it lightly, we hit it hard. It was a hard fought battle."

Sophomore Linebacker Will Davis
On working his way to the top of the depth chart...
"It has been a fun ride so far and it has been a grind all the way through. That is the only way I would expect it to be. You know playing at a school like K-State, it has got to be a grind each day and it is."

On his teammates and him growing into a starter mind set...
"We have all grown together and that was really helpful for us to get through the grind. It has been fun to grow together and now being in a position that we can be in a starting role."

On his experience at K-State so far...
"It has been fun and long. I feel like I have been here forever, but I am only a sophomore. It has been everything that I expected it to be so it has been good."