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Iowan Jake Waters finally lands at Iowa State

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Tommy Birch , tbirch@dmreg.comPublished 4:52 p.m. CT March 10, 2017

 

When Jake Waters was a standout quarterback at Iowa Western, he would have considered Iowa State.

The trouble was, the Cyclones weren't considering him.

Waters went on to have a solid career as a two-year starter at Kansas State, leading the Wildcats to 17 wins in that span. Meanwhile, Iowa State tallied all of five victories between 2013-14.

But now, the two sides are joining forces after Waters was added officially as a graduate assistant on the Iowa State football coaching staff.

“I couldn’t be more excited about being a part of this program and the vision coach (Matt) Campbell has here is something pretty special,” Waters said.

Waters is no stranger to Iowa. The Council Bluffs native led St. Albert High School to a pair of Class 1A state titles. He then left for Iowa Western, where he named the 2012 NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year and guided the team to a national title.

The success caught the attention of Division I programs and Waters became a high-major prospect. Waters’ dad went to Iowa State and Jake grew up watching Iowa State games. Iowa State may have been in the mix, but the Cyclones were settled at quarterback with Sam Richardson starting to emerge.

“Iowa State was in a position where they didn’t necessarily need to take a junior college quarterback,” Waters said. “So I understood that. I understand that. But I just wanted to go someplace where they wanted me and Kansas State was the perfect fit and choice for me.”

The move worked out well for Waters and Kansas State. Waters became a two-year starter for the Wildcats. He passed for 2,469 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2013 and threw for 3,051 yards and 22 touchdown passes as a senior to earn second-team All-Big 12 honors in 2014.

After college, Waters signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Seattle Seahawks. He then landed in the Canadian Football League. He also spent two seasons as the quarterbacks coach at Iowa Western.

It was while coaching at Iowa Western that Waters came in contact with Campbell and his coaching staff. When a graduate assistant spot opened up, Waters applied. Iowa State announced the move Thursday.

“(Iowa State) is a special place, special program,” Waters said. “I’m happy to be close to home, but I’m more happy to be coaching with such great coaches and people to be around.”

Waters said he’ll work with Iowa State’s wide receivers.

“Being a quarterback, you know what you like to see in wide receivers,” Waters said.

Waters is hoping this can help him in his post-playing career.

“I want to coach,” he said. “So, this is a great place to do it.”