Sports

Fate, circumstances led QB Jake Waters to No. 20 K-State, Nick Marshall to No. 5 Auburn

  • FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2014, file photo, Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall (14) warms up before an NCAA college football game against San Jose State in Auburn, Ala. Marshall thought about going to Kansas State. When he didn't, Jake Waters did. Now, the two quarterbacks shared the spotlight Thursday night when Marshall leads No. 5 Auburn against Waters and No. 20 Kansas State.  (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File0

    FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2014, file photo, Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall (14) warms up before an NCAA college football game against San Jose State in Auburn, Ala. Marshall thought about going to Kansas State. When he didn't, Jake Waters did. Now, the two quarterbacks shared the spotlight Thursday night when Marshall leads No. 5 Auburn against Waters and No. 20 Kansas State. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File0  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2014, file photo, Kansas State quarterback Jake Waters (15) breaks away from the grasp of Iowa State linebacker Jevohn Miller (55) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Ames, Iowa. Nick Marshall thought about going to Kansas State. When he didn't, Jake Waters did. Now, the two quarterbacks shared the spotlight Thursday night when Marshall leads No. 5 Auburn against Waters and No. 20 Kansas State.  (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2014, file photo, Kansas State quarterback Jake Waters (15) breaks away from the grasp of Iowa State linebacker Jevohn Miller (55) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Ames, Iowa. Nick Marshall thought about going to Kansas State. When he didn't, Jake Waters did. Now, the two quarterbacks shared the spotlight Thursday night when Marshall leads No. 5 Auburn against Waters and No. 20 Kansas State. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth, File)  (The Associated Press)

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.