Big 12 News

Hunter Dekkers on JUCO Plans: ‘I Can’t Let One Mistake Define my Whole Entire Career’

One season after former Iowa State quarterback Hunter Dekkers accepted a plea deal for underage gambling and was removed from the team, the former Cyclone has found a new home to play football.

Dekkers announced his decision to move to the JUCO level and take the field as a member of the Iowa Western Community College football team.

 

According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, the NCAA stripped Dekkers of his remaining eligibility due to a $15 bet linked to his account that Dekkers placed on Iowa State football in 2021 as a backup quarterback.

While Dekkers does not have any remaining NCAA eligibility, Iowa Western is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association and, as an Iowa Western spokesman told Rittenberg, the Iowa native is enrolled and eligible to play in 2024.

“I decided that going to JUCO was the best route in order to continue to play football and try to get to the next level,” Dekkers told Rittenberg. “I’ve dedicated and worked my whole life for this sport and my dream. I can’t let one mistake define my whole entire career. That’s not who I am. I can’t quit because something gets hard.”

He wrapped up his thoughts on the situation by saying, “To know that I’m able to be around a group of guys again, work together with a group of guys again, and play football again, it’s honestly been a breath of fresh air. In this situation, it would have been really easy to just quit and never play again and just walk away. But for myself, I just couldn’t do it. I’ve worked too hard for everything, and I will continue to work every single day for my dreams.”

Iowa Western finished off the 2023 season with a 12-1 overall record and won their third National Championship in program history. Dekkers will now take the field as a Reivers in hopes of contending yet again in 2024.

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