After taking leave from Iowa State in early October, former starting quarterback Jacob Park – originally a transfer from Georgia – will transfer from the Cyclones and seek to start anew with a different program.
Park did not travel with the team for Iowa State’s upset victory over Oklahoma on October 7th and it was announced at the time that he would be taking leave because of health issues. A drug test that he’d failed was going to mean a suspension for the quarterback, but Park told the Des Moines Register there was more than that to his absence from the team.
According to an interview Park did with the Register, he had to leave the team because of problems stemming from his struggles to manage both the heavy responsibilities of being a student-athlete and those of being a father living with the mother of his child.
Park said that his marijuana usage “was not something that was very easy to deal with when you have so much high pressure situations that you’re being put into” and that he was continuing to work on dealing with the issue.
Head coach Matt Campbell has indicated that the player’s request for a transfer will be granted.
Heading into the 2017 season, there was hope that Iowa State would be improved with Park behind center. He was 2-2 as a starter and had thrown nine touchdowns on the season before his absence. Backup Kyle Kempt would be the starter to propel the Cylcones over both TCU and Oklahoma as Iowa State went on to one of their more successful seasons in recent history.
Both Kempt and freshman Zeb Noland are currently thought to be possible candidates for the starting job at quarterback in 2018.