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Iowa State QB Kyle Kempt granted sixth season of eligibility

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Two days after adding some youth to its roster, Iowa State received some very good news regarding one of its veterans.

Late last month, it was confirmed that Kyle Kempt was attempting to gain another season of eligibility from the NCAA.  A little more than three weeks later, the football program confirmed the quarterback has indeed been granted the sixth year he sought.

“We are excited that Kyle was given another year of eligibility by the NCAA,” ISU head coach Matt Campbell said in a statement. “We alerted Kyle and our recruits when we received the clearance notification on Jan. 30. Since then all of our efforts had been focused on our 2018 football team and recruiting. Kyle has established himself as a leader on our team and we are thrilled by the NCAA’s decision to allow him to remain a Cyclone in 2018.”

“I’m relieved the decision has been made and extremely excited to be back with the team in 2018,” Kempt said. “We have a lot of work to do and it is a thrill for me to be able to represent this great university for another year. 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 made his first career start in October against Oklahoma last season, with his 343 yards and three touchdown passes leading the Cyclones to a stunning upset of the third-ranked Sooners.  All told, ISU went 5-3 in eight starts under Kempt, who was named honorable mention All-Big 12 after the regular season.

The NCAA’s decision in Kempt’s favor was based on the “run-off” rule, which grants players who were “run off” from their original programs additional eligibility. Kempt began his collegiate career at Oregon State but didn’t play at all in two seasons, with the quarterback arguing to the NCAA that he was told by OSU officials that he “wasn’t going to play there.”

Tanner Lee used the same rule, albeit under different circumstances, to gain an extra year of eligibility at Nebraska that he ultimately didn’t use.


Iowa State’s Kamilo Tongamoa arrested on multiple charges, suspended

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It had been more than a month since an actual arrest had reset the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker. With the window closing on this most recent weekend, it’s time, finally, to set that ticker back to double zeroes.

According to multiple media outlets, Iowa State’s Kamilo Tongamoa was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with four misdemeanor counts in connection to a traffic incident. The specific charges the defensive lineman is facing include operating while intoxicated, striking an unattended vehicle, failure to have a valid license or permit while operating a motor vehicle and failure to prove security against liability.

No details of what led to the arrest and charges have been released.

As a result of the incident, however, the program has confirmed that Tongamoa has been indefinitely suspended from all football-related activities.

Tongamoa, a former four-star prospect, transferred to the Cyclones from the junior college level prior to the 2017 season. The rising redshirt senior played in four games for ISU last year, and is expected to play a bigger role in the Cyclones’ interior line rotation this season.

Iowa State adds Nate Scheelhaase as running backs coach

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It was only six years ago that Nate Scheelhaase was carrying the ball as an Illinois player, now he’ll be teaching others to do the same outside of Champaign as the new running backs coach at Iowa State.

“Nate will be a valuable addition to our staff,” Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell said in a statement. “I feel Nate is a rising star in this profession. He is energetic, has a high football I.Q., and will fit in perfectly with our current staff. We can’t wait for Nate to get started here at Iowa State.”

Scheelhaase was a four-year starter at quarterback for the Illini and finished as the program’s all-time leader in total offense. He is familiar with coaching the other position in the backfield however, having served as running backs coach on Bill Cubit’s interim staff in 2015. Lovie Smith retained him after the coaching transition at the school and he’s been working the past two seasons in the off-the-field role of offensive analyst.

It’s a little bit of a state of Illinois swap for Campbell as Scheelhaase replaces Louis Ayeni on ISU’s staff after he left for a spot at his alma mater of Northwestern a few weeks ago. The new Cyclones coach will walk into a good situation in 2018 with junior tailback David Montgomery likely vying for All-Big 12 honors again during the upcoming season.

Former Iowa State lineman Keenan Forbes signs with Wazzu

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After a brief junior-college pit stop, Keenan Forbes is back at a Power Five program.

Washington State confirmed over the weekend that Forbes has been added to the football program’s 2018 signing class.  The offensive lineman has already enrolled in classes at the university and is expected to take part in spring practice in a couple of months.

Counting 2018, Forbes will have three seasons of eligibility at his disposal.

A three-star member of Iowa State’s 2016 recruiting class, the Florida high schooler chose ISU over his other finalist, Temple.  After redshirting as a true freshman, Forbes opted to transfer from the Cyclones.

Forbes spent the 2017 season at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.

Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, Saquon Barkley among Lombardi Award finalists

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The list of Lombardi Award candidates has been whittled down to a list of seven select finalists for this year’s award. A week after a list of 21 candidates was unveiled, only seven remain after a panel of voters cast their initial ballots for the award.

2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma, Heisman Trophy runner-up Bryce Love of Stanford, and 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville highlight the list of finalists for the Lombardi Award. Other finalists include Saquon Barkley of Penn State, Minkah Fitzpatrick of Alabama, Shaquen Griffin of UCF and Joel Lanning of Iowa State.

The Lombardi Award has a new trophy and criteria this season after opening the award up to any position after previously being reserved for the top lineman or linebacker in the nation. The award is based on performance, leadership, character and resiliency on and off the field.

Lombardi Award Finalists for 2017 Season

  • Saquon Barkley, Penn State (RB)
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama (S)
  • Shaquem Griffin, UCF (LB)
  • Lamar Jackson, Louisville (QB)
  • Joel Lanning, Iowa State (LB/QB)
  • Bryce Love, Stanford (RB)
  • Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma (QB)

Alabama’s Jonathan Allen won the award for the 2016 season. Carl Nassib of Penn State won the award in 2015, meaning Barkley and Fitzpatrick are attempting to win another Lombardi Award for their school. Oklahoma is the only other school with a Lombardi Award among the schools represented by the finalists for this season’s award. Iowa State, Louisville, Stanford and UCF are all looking for their first Lombardi Award winner in school history. Oklahoma has three all-time Lombardi Award winners, and Alabama and Penn State each have two.