A player who began the 2013 season under center at Kansas State and turned into one of the most productive quasi-running backs in the Big 12 has now vacated the backfield entirely.
Following up on months and months of speculation, head coach Bill Snyder confirmed at his first press conference of spring practice that Daniel Sams has made the move to wide receiver. Snyder, who had previously denied that Sams was switching positions, stated that the move came after the player approached him about the possibility.
“The dialogue I had with Daniel was I want you to be happy, and I want to see you on the field,” Snyder said according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. “He approached me about playing wide receiver, and I made my recommendations to him. I said I would certainly abide by his and give him a chance, and he wanted to try it.
“There’s a lot of places Daniel can play. If he wants to play wide receiver he needs to go out and let reality set in, and he’s proven he’s not going to be bad there.”
As for the transition, Snyder said it was greatly aided by Sams’ previous experience as a quarterback. “From a learning standpoint, he understood all the schemes so he knew assignments for wide receivers,” the venerable head coach said.
With Jake Waters making significant strides over the last half of the season and firmly entrenching himself as the starter, Snyder was able to be more comfortable and confident in taking an asset at quarterback and turning it into one at a position that’s short on numbers.
While listed as a quarterback, Sams did most of his damage on the ground in 2013. Last year, he was ninth in the Big 12 with 807 yards rushing, while his combined 15 touchdowns (11 rushing, four passing) were good for seventh in the conference.
He attempted just 52 passes in 13 games, with 21 of those attempts coming in a single game (Oct. 5 loss at Oklahoma State).