Kyle Kempt will be back on the field for Iowa State in 2018.
ISU announced Friday that Kempt, who started eight games at quarterback for the Cyclones in 2017, has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. The former walk-on will be on scholarship for his final season of eligibility.
“We are excited that Kyle was given another year of eligibility by the NCAA,” Iowa State head football coach Matt Campbell said. “We alerted Kyle and our recruits when we received the clearance notification on Jan. 30. Since then all of our efforts had been focused on our 2018 football team and recruiting. Kyle has established himself as a leader on our team and we are thrilled by the NCAA’s decision to allow him to remain a Cyclone in 2018.”
Added Kempt: “I’m relieved the decision has been made and extremely excited to be back with the team in 2018. We have a lot of work to do and it is a thrill for me to be able to represent this great university for another year. I am also thankful for the NCAA for looking at my situation so thoroughly and for all of the people involved in this process. They put in a lot of hard work and I really appreciate it.”
Kempt had just two career passing attempts when he made his first career start in place of Jacob Park on the road at No. 3 Oklahoma on Oct. 7. In that game, Kempt completed 18-of-24 passes for 343 yards and three touchdowns in an upset win over the Sooners. The win over the OU was the first of four straight for the Cyclones, who finished the season 8-5 — their first eight-win season since 2000 and the program’s first bowl win in eight years.
For the season, Kempt threw for 1,787 yards and 15 touchdowns while completing 66.3 percent of his passes — a single-season program record. He had a 5-3 record as a starter.
Kempt began his collegiate career at Oregon State but did not play in 2013 or 2014. After an OSU coaching change, he left for Hutchinson Community College in 2015 (where he also didn’t play) before landing at ISU as a walk-on in 2016. He played in two games in 2016 and became the team’s backup behind Park (who is seeking a graduate transfer) after Joel Lanning moved from QB to linebacker.
Per the Des Moines Register, Kempt sought a waiver via the NCAA’s “run-off” rule:
Kempt, a fifth-year senior for the Cyclones, had written a letter to the NCAA requesting another season after he didn’t get any playing time in his first two stops at Oregon State and Hutchinson Community College. He was testing the “run-off” rule, which allows the NCAA to grant additional eligibility for players transferring to a four-year school after having been “run off” at a previous four-year school.
Behind Kempt on the depth chart will be redshirt sophomore Zeb Noland, who started one game after Kempt was injured in 2017, and redshirt freshman Devon Moore. The Cyclones also signed two quarterbacks — Re-Al Mitchell and Brock Purdy — in their 2018 recruiting class. Both players are rated by Rivals.com as three-star prospects.
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