In many ways, the direction of Kansas State and Auburn the past couple of seasons has been shaped by a surprising decision that Jake Waters made nearly two years ago.

Waters and fellow junior college quarterback Nick Marshall were both being recruited by the Wildcats, and Waters was the first to commit, even though most assumed that he would continue his career at Penn State.

Marshall wound up committing to Auburn a few weeks later.

On Thursday night, they'll both be under the spotlight when Marshall leads fifth-ranked Auburn into Manhattan to face Waters and No. 20 Kansas State in a premier nonconference matchup.