Iowa State has confirmed that Jacob Park will transfer from the university, which was first reported by Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register.
Park began the 2017 season with high expectations in Ames. He was a former five-star recruit who attended Georgia briefly, before leaving the sport for a year and returning at Iowa State. But he surprisingly took a leave of absence from the team on October 7, right before the Oklahoma Sooners game in Norman. In Park’s place, quarterback Kyle Kempt came in and won four games in a row, including top 5 victories over Oklahoma and TCU.
In November, he thanked Cyclones fans for being understanding while he went through some personal issues.
But as the quarterback then told Birch, things changed rapidly.
“Everybody says these fans are so loyal, right?” Park told Birch. “Like, they were the first ones to turn on me. I got to witness this from a whole other perspective that most of you never get to witness.”
Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell issued a response to Park’s comments.
Statement from Matt Campbell via Iowa State on Jacob Park. pic.twitter.com/fJY3P8ybHj
— Alex Halsted (@AlexHalsted) December 12, 2017
Park added that he plans to graduate in the spring and then transfer so he can play in 2018. Park also told the Register that the leave stemmed from the challenge of having to balance football, school and being a father. He added that he failed a drug test because of marijuana and was facing a one-game suspension.
Iowa State finished its season 7-5. It is their first time going to a bowl game since 2012 and their first time winning at least seven games since 2009.