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2018 Football Position Previews: Quarterbacks

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Kyle Kempt will look to calmly lead the Cyclones to excellence, again.

NCAA Football: Liberty Bowl-Iowa State vs Memphis Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

After Jacob Park’s sudden departure after the Texas game thrust one time Marcus Mariota impersonator Kyle Kempt into the mix against Oklahoma who engineered the upset and led the Cyclones to an 8-5 season.

Zeb Noland helped out as well, starting against Baylor, and appearing in four games.

Departures:

Joel Lanning has graduated from Iowa State, and is currently with the Dallas Cowboys.

Jacob “The King of Comebacks” Park is still whereabouts-unknown regarding his future destination.

New Guys:

Re-al Mitchell: 6’0” / 190 lbs. Eastvale, Calif. (St. John Bosco) Invited to the 2017 Elite 11 QB camp; led team to state title in 2016 with 2,932 passing yards and 1,058 rushing yards. Here is our preview of Re-al from our early signing day recaps.

Brock Purdy: 6’1” / 200 lbs. Gilbert, Ariz. (Perry) Gatorade Player of the Year in Arizona; as a senior, threw for 4,405 yards and 57 touchdowns, both Class 6A state records. Matt Campbell has consistently mentioned Purdy has one to keep our eyes on for the future. Per rumblings out of camp, Purdy took well to the offseason weight program and is learning the offense quickly.

Blake Clark: 6’2” / 178 lbs. Dowling (IA). “Honorable mention all-state and all-district pick as a senior in 2017 … starting quarterback for the Class 4A state champion squad that went 12-1 in senior season … led Class 4A in completion percentage (73.1 pct.), connecting on 117-of-160 passes for 2,121 yards … ranked fourth in the state (Class 4A) in passing touchdowns with 27 … also rushed for 501 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 5.7 yards per carry … was a reserve as a junior for team that won 2016 Class 4A state title … two-year starter in basketball … academic all-state in both football and basketball … NFF Iowa Chapter Scholar Athlete of the Year as a senior … coached by Tom Wilson.”

Leader of the Pack:

Kyle Kempt leads the pack based on his cool demeanor in game, however, it wouldn’t surprise me if someone else took over depending on how what opposing defense gives for looks. In the offseason, Kempt put on some noticeable muscle (reportedly in the range of 15 pounds) in order to help keep him healthy over an entire season, and to hopefully add some arm strength to give those deep passes to Hakeem Butler down the field a little bit farther.

Dark Horse:

Brock Purdy will for sure play within the four game redshirt rule, but I wouldn’t count out Devon Moore. Moore redshirted his freshman season, but unfortunately tore his ACL last offseason, preventing him from gaining practice reps, or taking advantage of bowl practices. Unfortunately, last season was Moore’s best opportunity to prove himself going forward before Mitchell and Purdy got to campus. He’s a talented dual-threat quarterback, but he’ll need to really impress the staff during the season if he wants a shot at the starting job next fall.

2018 Projection:

Kempt and Noland will play 1-2, and then I would expect to see Re-Al in some interesting offensive schemes.

For once, it seems like the quarterback position finally has some stability. Kyle Kempt is the clear number one starter, but behind him is Noland with actual quality game reps under his belt. Is this the first season since Austen Arnaud that a Cyclone quarterback starts every game? Hard to say, but even if Kempt should go down with an injury, Iowa State fans should be able to rest easy knowing that a plenty capable Zeb Noland is waiting to step up and fill the gap.