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Just two months ago, Iowa State football was down two quarterbacks who had started multiple games for the Cyclones. Those two players, of course, were Sam B. Richardson and Grant Rohach. Richardson concluded his redshirt senior season after the final game of the 2015 season on November 28. Just a few days later on December 1, Rohach announced that he would transfer elsewhere and seek a team that would provide him with more playing time.
Suddenly, the QB depth chart at ISU was much thinner than new head coach Matt Campbell felt comfortable with. He went out and grabbed a commitment from Watkinsville, Georgia's Zeb Noland on December 21, but Noland is coming into Ames as a freshman and could use a year to redshirt and learn the ins and outs of college football.
Meaning the depth issue was still exactly that - an issue.
Yesterday, the issue was largely solved after it was announced that former 4-star, blue chip prospect Jacob Park would be a member of the Iowa State football team in 2016. Park had chosen to attend Georgia after being named one of the top high school QBs in the nation in the class of 2013, but decided to leave the Bulldogs in 2015 due to his own displeasure with lack of playing time.
After earning his associate degree at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M this May, Park will get a second chance to play at the Division I level for Coach Campbell's Cyclones. While it's going to be an uphill battle for Park to win the starting job outright this fall over returning starter Joel Lanning, his raw talent and drive to be "the guy" at ISU will have a positive impact on the program.
As reported by 247, JUCO QB Jacob Park did indeed commit to Iowa State during the weekend. Former 4-star Scout 300. pic.twitter.com/7czlZYLxXs— Alex Halsted (@AlexHalsted) February 2, 2016
Regardless of where Park ends up on the depth chart for Iowa State's opener against Northern Iowa on September 3, having a player with his ceiling on the roster, and having a coaching staff that can convince him to come here in the first place, signals a sign of greener pastures ahead for a school that hasn't ever experienced meaningful success on the gridiron.
And perhaps, once Coach Campbell and his staff finally decide to take an extended sleep after hitting the recruiting trail so hard during their first two months on the job at ISU, they'll be able to sleep a little better knowing the quarterback positions on the roster no longer need to be filled. Joel Lanning, Zeb Noland, or Jacob Park may end up being the QB that finally helps Iowa State turn the corner under Campbell's guidance.
The future is bright for Cyclone football.