Jake Waters left some members of Nittany Nation crying a river of tears last week.
Many thought the Iowa junior college star was destined for Happy Valley. Even Waters admitted that he told the Penn State coaches that he was leaning heavily toward the Lions. Then a few days later he had a change of heart and chose Kansas State.
That left Penn State in a serious bind. The Lions have just one scholarship quarterback on their spring roster -- sophomore-to-be Steven Bench. They were in desperate, and immediate, need of another QB to compete against Bench. So the Lions turned to another junior college prospect, California's Tyler Ferguson, who abandoned his Houston commitment and is expected to enroll at PSU in January and compete in spring drills.
It's pretty obvious that Ferguson was PSU's second choice behind Waters, who was a higher-rated prospect than Ferguson by just about every recruiting service. But that doesn't mean that Waters will automatically turn into the better college QB.
For proof, just look to the 2012 Nittany Lions.
Penn State recruited three blue-chip QBs in the 2009 and 2010 classes. All three were rated as four-star recruits, on a five-star scale, by Rivals.com. In other words, they were all thought to be studs.
You would expect that one of those three would've been PSU's starting QB in 2012. You would be wrong. None of them could beat out ex-walk-on Matt McGloin.
Kevin Newsome, who was in PSU's 2009 recruiting class, played little for the Lions before eventually transferring to Temple, where he threw exactly one pass for a less-than-stellar Owls' team in 2012.
Paul Jones and Rob Bolden were both part of PSU's heralded 2010 recruiting class. Jones never threw a pass for PSU and new head coach Bill O'Brien moved him to tight end this season before Jones decided to transfer to Robert Morris -- a Football Championship Subdivision team.
Bolden battled McGloin for the starting QB job for two seasons during the Joe Paterno regime. When O'Brien took over, he quickly named McGloin his starting QB shortly after the conclusion of his first spring practice. Bolden bolted for LSU over the summer, where he was quickly buried on the Tigers' depth chart and did not attempt a pass this fall.
What does this tell us? That recruiting is an inexact science and that stars don't always translate into stardom.
Time will tell if Waters or Ferguson turns into the better player. But history tells us that PSU's No. 2 choice may well become their No. 1 QB.
Steve Heiser is sports editor of York Dispatch. He can be reached at shei firstname.lastname@example.org.