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Who is Kyle Kempt?

Oct 7, 2017; Norman, OK, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Kyle Kempt (17) passes the ball over the Oklahoma Sooners defensive line during the third quarter at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

It was a question I’m sure a lot of Iowa State fans asked themselves when the Cyclones’ offense took the field for the first time Saturday morning in Norman.

Who is Kyle Kempt?

I think it is safe to assume it is a question that will not be asked very much moving forward after the walk-on senior led Iowa State to a 38-31 win over the No. 3 Sooners, the program’s first win over Oklahoma since 1990.

Kempt’s collegiate career started in Corvallis, Ore. after a standout prep career at Massillon Washington in Massillon, Ohio. The former three-star recruit was the valedictorian of his high school class and threw for a single-season school record 3,056 yards as a high school senior.

He redshirted in his first season on the Beavers’ roster. After Mike Riley left Oregon State for Nebraska in 2014, Kempt set out to find a new home, landing at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.

Kempt never played a snap for the Dragons, but got an opportunity to rejoin an old acquaintance in Ames, Iowa. Matt Campbell recruited Kempt out of high school when he was the head coach at Toledo. He missed on the 6-foot-5, 220-pound signal-caller the first time around, but not the second.

Kempt walked on at Iowa State and became the team’s Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year in 2016. He completed two passes for 15 yards in game action.

Until Saturday, when he completed 18-of-24 passes for 343 yards and three touchdowns, they were the only two pass attempts of Kempt’s college career. At this point, who knows when the next ones will come. It probably depends on when junior Jacob Park returns from his indefinite leave of absence.

Regardless, the question has a much easier answer now.

Who is Kyle Kempt?

A Cyclone legend.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.

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