NCAA grants ISU QB Kempt extra year of eligibility

AMES, Iowa (AP) Iowa State quarterback Kyle Kempt has been granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA.

The Cyclones announced the NCAA’s decision on Friday, saying that the governing body granted Kempt an extension of eligibility after considering the totality of the circumstances surrounding his transfer from Oregon State and Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.

Kempt became an unlikely starter for the Cyclones midway through last season after Jacob Park left the team. Kempt started off his career with a 38-31 win at then-No. 3 Oklahoma and finished with a 66.3 percent completion rate, the best in school history.

Kempt was 161 of 243 passing for 1,787 yards and 15 touchdowns in just nine games.

”I’m relieved the decision has been made and extremely excited to be back with the team in 2018,” Kempt said. ”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 began his career at Oregon State in 2013, redshirting his first season. After a coaching change, Kempt transferred to Hutchinson Community College in 2015 and joined the Cyclones as a walk-on a year later.

Kempt will return to spring practice on scholarship and as the team’s starting quarterback, with sophomore Zeb Noland and freshman Devon Moore backing him up.

Kempt’s return should make the Cyclones, who went 8-5 and won a bowl game for just the fourth time in 2017, one of the preseason favorites in the Big 12. Iowa State returns most of its offensive starters, highlighted by star running back David Montgomery, and it should be strong defensively after allowing just 20.9 points a game a year ago.

Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said the NCAA informed the Cyclones of its decision on Jan. 30, but the team held off on announcing it until Friday so it could focus on recruiting.