MANHATTAN — The Kansas State football team is about to lose one of its most athletic players.
Daniel Sams has decided to transfer. The redshirt junior quarterback is looking for a fresh start after losing K-State’s starting job to Jake Waters last season and attempting to change positions to wide receiver during spring practices.
"I just want my son to be happy," Sams’ mother Sherrell Griffin told GoPowercat.com. "If he's there and him not playing and not using his athletic ability isn't making him happy, I'm behind him 100 percent."
Sams and has parents did not reply to messages seeking further comment. K-State had no comment. Sams was active on Twitter, though.
“If twitter had enough characters to go on I will do that,” Sams wrote. “I just wanna say I love my team, the fans, and this journey.”
Sams was not projected to play significantly next season as a quarterback or a receiver. Waters enters his senior season as K-State’s unquestioned starting quarterback, while Tyler Lockett, Curry Sexton, Deante Burton and Kyle Klein figure to make up the main receiving corps.
Sams saw action with K-State’s starting offense during the spring game, catching two passes for nine yards, but his path to a starting job appeared long. He hasn’t spoken with media since the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, but K-State coach Bill Snyder said he was showing progress at his new position during spring practices. He also said he planned to meet with Sams to discuss his future with the offense. Sams would have been the favorite to start at quarterback as a senior.
But his future football career will continue elsewhere. Sams has two years of eligibility remaining, but he won’t be able to use them both at another team in the Football Bowl Subdivision. College athletes have a five-year window in which to complete four years of eligibility. Because Sams sat out his first year at K-State with a redshirt, he will only have one year left at a FBS institution after sitting out a year per NCAA transfer rules.
A source close to Sams said he will more likely transfer to a Football Championship Subdivision school, where he will be eligible to play immediately and have two full seasons remaining. The source said he will also likely look to transfer close to his hometown of Slidell, La., where he will return his focus to quarterback. FCS football programs located in Louisiana include: McNeese State, Nicholls State, Southeastern Louisiana and Southern.
Griffin told GoPowercat.com that “We’ll sit down and talk and see where he’d like to go and start making arrangements. Don’t forget about us now. Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.”
Sams departs K-State after a promising sophomore season in which he played in every game, rushing for 807 yards and 11 touchdowns and passing for 452 yards and four touchdowns. He served as the team’s primary quarterback in narrow losses to Oklahoma State and Baylor, showing off his dual-threat capabilities and becoming a fan favorite along the way. But as the season carried on, his playing time dwindled. K-State coaches preferred Waters, a stronger passer.
He told the media before K-State’s Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl victory over Michigan that he was contemplating a move to receiver.
Sams spent his redshirt season learning from former K-State quarterback Collin Klein and served as Klein’s main backup the following year, rushing for 235 yards and three touchdowns while also throwing for 55 yards.