This week, we're featuring five Big 12 players on the spot this spring. Maybe they're coming back from injury. Maybe they have much to prove after a disappointing 2013 season. Maybe they're embroiled in a key position battle. Whatever the case, this spring is big for them.
Today’s player on the spot: Kansas State quarterback Daniel Sams
It could be a important spring for Sams and the Wildcats. While he’s still listed as a quarterback on K-State’s official roster, Sams appears poised to make a move to receiver this spring. Starting April 2, spring drills could be the time when the Wildcats find a home for the talented junior.
Sams started two games at quarterback in 2013, splitting time with Jake Waters, and finished with 807 rushing yards and 452 passing yards, while earning a reputation as one of the Big 12’s most dynamic players.
His role diminished more and more, however, as Waters took a stranglehold on the quarterback position during the final home stretch. Sams was involved in 10 total plays (nine carries, one pass attempt) during the Wildcats' final three games after averaging 18.3 plays per game in the previous three games. Looking back on it, it seems like a waste of a special talent to have Sams on the sideline.
But his spot next to coach Bill Snyder had been earned. Sams threw four interceptions, a Big 12 worst 7.5 interception percentage, and lost four fumbles during his limited action at quarterback last season. His turnovers played a role in key losses to Oklahoma State and Baylor, even though his playmaking ability was a main reason both games went down to the wire.
Nonetheless, Sams is simply too talented to leave on the sidelines for too much longer and his move to receiver this spring could be a perfect fit. Imagine a guy who runs like a running back, runs routes like a receiver and can still challenge defenses as a Wildcat-style quarterback. Developing into a quality receiver could transform Sams into the ideal all-purpose weapon to place alongside Tyler Lockett to create nightmares for Big 12 defensive coordinators.
Big 12 defenses already know how scary Sams can be with the ball in his hands, making the junior a man to keep an eye on this spring. His development as a receiver could end up paying major dividends in Manhattan, Kan., this fall.