Kyle Kempt erupted on the scene on October 7th, in a game no one expected him to win.
The senior was thrust into the starting role against the mighty Oklahoma Sooners after incumbent Jacob Park took a leave of absence from Iowa State. Kempt responded to his first start at Iowa State by carving up a top 5 team on the road, and scoring possibly the biggest victory in the history of Iowa State football.
Here are 5 things to know about the Big 12’s hottest hand.
Who is Kyle Kempt? 5 things to know about the new Iowa State quarterback
He’s a rambling man
Kyle Kempt originally committed to Cincinnati out of high school, but his scholarship was taken away when Butch Jones left for Tennessee and Tommy Tuberville was hired. He went to Oregon State, but Mike Riley left for Nebraska, and Gary Andersen wanted more of a dual-threat quarterback. He went to Hutchinson Community College, where he couldn’t win the starting job. He didn’t have any offers, except from Matt Campbell, who invited him to be a walk-on at Iowa State.
An athletic family
The Kempts are athletic through and through. The father, Mychal, played linebacker at Montana State. His older brother, Cody, was a backup at Oregon, who famously came in when starter Dennis Dixon and other backup Brady Leaf were injured. Cody Kempt was quickly injured as well, and then subsequently transferred to Montana State. Kyle’s younger brother, Jake, plays wide receiver at Dayton. When you add in that his mom was a heptathlete at Montana State as well, you’re looking at one of the most underrated athletic families in the nation.
The hot hand
Kempt originally torched Oklahoma for 343 passing yards and three touchdowns through the air, but hasn’t had to keep up that statistical dominance to win games. That doesn’t mean he isn’t playing with the hot hand, even though he hasn’t had to complete many passes to win games. He’s been an efficient, consistent leader for Iowa State, and he’s only turned the ball over once. In fact, the entire Iowa State team hasn’t lost a fumble yet this year. There are more ways to be on fire than just throwing the ball all over the place, and as long as Kempt can keep making good decisions with the football, he’ll continue to be the most important piece of the puzzle for Iowa State.
Before college, Kempt was a three year starter at Massillon, arguably the nation’s most storied high school football program. He left the program as the school’s all-time leading passer, an honor at a storied program. Massillon has had 21 undefeated regular seasons, 24 state championships, nine national championships, and boasts 18 total collegiate All-Americans and 30 current professional players. When you leave a place like Massillon as the all-time leading passer, you’ve done something incredibly special
Room to grow
Kempt is a fifth-year senior, so this is more than likely his last year of football. His full potential may never be realized at Iowa State, but his performance is more than enough to get him some tryouts somewhere. Inarguably his best game was against Oklahoma, but even there, Kempt has serious room to grow. His ceiling may never be fully recognized because he was never given a chance at the starting job until October of 2017, but there’s still time to vastly improve. Iowa State has a lot of big tests coming up soon, with a massive game against TCU looming on the horizon. Kempt hasn’t been bad this season, but he’s never faced a defense quite like TCU’s. A Gary Patterson 4-2-5 is a tough nut to crack, and it’ll take a heroic performance from Kempt if Iowa State is going to pull out the win.
The post Who is Kyle Kempt? 5 things to know about the new Iowa State quarterback appeared first on Diehards.
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