Kansas State quarterback Jake Waters was one of 27 quarterbacks across the nation to be named to the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watch list as the nation’s top senior quarterback, the organization has announced.
Waters is the fourth Wildcat to be in contention for the honor and the first since Collin Klein won the award in 2012, while Michael Bishop (1998) and Chad May (1994) were both finalists. Waters was one of three Big 12 quarterbacks named to the watch list, joining Baylor’s Bryce Petty and Oklahoma State’s J.W. Walsh.
The Unitas Award watch list designation was the third overall for Waters this preseason as he was also named to the Maxwell (college player of the year) and Davey O’Brien (nation’s best quarterback) watch lists.
A community-college transfer prior to the 2013 season, Waters started all 13 games last year as he threw for 2,469 yards with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions on 159-of-260 aim. He ranked fourth nationally in yards per completions (15.53) and 14th in passing efficiency (156.8) while finishing third in the Big 12 in passing yards per game (189.9) and total offense per game (213.9). His career passing efficiency currently ranks first in school history and his passing yards per game ranks fifth.
Waters showed improvement over the second half of the 2013 season as he led the Wildcats to a 6-1 record, including a Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl victory over Michigan. Over the final seven games, the Council Bluffs, Iowa, product averaged 204.7 yards per game and tossed 14 touchdowns with only four interceptions. That came on the heels of averaging 172.7 yards and recording four touchdowns and five interceptions in the first six contests.
K-State opens the 2014 campaign against Stephen F. Austin on August 30, at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The game, which kicks off at 6:10 p.m., serves as the sixth-annual K-State Family Reunion and will be broadcast world-wide on K-StateHD.TV.