I sure liked Jacob Park coming out of high school and I don’t know whether he got a fair shot at Georgia after he signed with them. Maybe he did, but for whatever reasons, things didn’t work out for him at Georgia.
He transferred to Iowa State of the Big 12. Three years ago, Nate Peterman looked horrible when he got a chance at playing for the Tennessee Vols. He graduated from Tennessee in 3 years and transferred to Pittsburgh where he had a really good career. In the recent NFL Draft, Peterman was picked by the Buffalo Bills in the 5th round in spite of questions about his arm strength. There was no question about his accuracy and athleticism. At Tennessee, he was terrible when getting playing time and it wasn’t because of superior defenses.
Sometimes you just need a fresh start.
Throwing for 3,665 and 33 Touchdowns while leading his Charleston Stratford high school football team to the state championship game is likely to earn you big honors at the end of a season. Jacob
Park was named South Carolina’s Mr Football for the 2013 season.
It also helps to have thrown for well over 2,000 yards as a junior building up to that climatic senior season and all of the honors. Park was named 1st team All State for both of his final seasons at Stratford High School.
It was no surprise that the colleges noticed and so did the recruiting services. When you have big seasons and a big arm, plus excellent feet and running ability and you are 6-4, 200, the big boys are going to come knocking.
The big boys in this case were Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, Auburn and Notre Dame. There were many more, of course, but Mr Football chose to attend Georgia.
ESPN recruiting had Park listed as the 4th best Dual Threat Quarterback, behind some guy named Watson that signed with Clemson and just won a national championship.
In 2014, Georgia was just losing 4 year starter Aaron Murray and senior Hutson Mason took over the starting position after waiting his turn. Historians will never remember Aaron Murray in Georgia football history, but as a college player he was even better than number 1 draft pick Matthew Stafford. Murray threw for over 13,000 yards as a Bulldog.
With Brice Ramsey, Faton Bauta and Hutson Mason already at Georgia, Jacob Park chose to redshirt as a true freshman.
With Virginia graduate transfer Greyson Lambert joining the team in 2015, Park seemed to be on the outside looking in.
Park decided to transfer and attended Junior College in Oklahoma, but he did not play football.
Iowa State has never exactly been a hotbed for college football, but it was an open opportunity for Jacob Park and one that he jumped on eagerly.
One year removed from winning the national championship at Texas, Gene Chizek was in high demand. The Longhorns Defensive Coordinator was named the Iowa State Cyclone head coach right after the 2006 season. Despite only winning 5 games in two seasons, the Auburn Tigers thought it would be a great idea to hire Chizek to coach their football team. Chizek had been the Defensive
Coordinator for Auburn before Mack Brown and Texas lured him away.
After two bad seasons at Iowa State, the Cyclones needed another new coach and suddenly a game of musical coaches broke out.
Paul Rhoads had replaced Will Muschamp at Auburn when Muschamp also left for Mack Brown and Texas. When Chizek was named head coach back at Auburn, he did not keep Rhoads as his Defensive Coordinator. Paul Rhoads needed a job and Iowa State needed a coach.
Rhoads took over before the 2009 season and led the Cyclones to a somewhat promising 7-6 record. But, that would be the best Rhoads could do at Iowa State and with a 2-10 record in 2014 and a 3-9 record in 2015, the Cyclones had had enough and they fired him.
Toledo’s Matt Campbell was next and there’s just something about Campbell that’s special. The Massillon, Ohio product just has winner stamped on him. I can’t tell you exactly where the stamp is placed, or whether it’s in the form of a tattoo, but the man is just a winner.
At Massillon Perry High School, Campbell helped lead the team to the district championship all 3 of his seasons he was on the varsity. He signed with Pittsburgh out of high school, but he was only there for one season before transferring to Mount Union which is a Division III school and non-scholarship. Mount Union coach Larry Kehres and Mount Union won 3 straight national championships and Campbell was an All American twice.
Larry Kehres won/loss record is beyond phenomenal and winning 11 national titles will do that to your record. Over 27 years as head coach at Mount Union, Kehres compiled an amazing 332-24-3 record. He had an incredible 10 unbeaten seasons as head coach. I don’t recall ever seeing anyone with a record quite like Larry Kehres’. He retired after the 2012 season and I am sure a lot of people involved with Division III football are relieved.
Campbell’s first head job was at Toledo and in 4 years his teams won 35 games with 15 losses where a lot of bigger programs noticed him.
They may have noticed him, but it was Iowa State that hired him.
Iowa State is a school that’s hard to build a consistent winner. There’s not a lot of great talent in Iowa and a lot of the better ones tend to leave. Rival Iowa has been the better football program and if a kid is going to stay in state to play, he often chooses Iowa of the Big 10.
3-9 was all Campbell could muster out of his team in his first season, but that bad record won’t last.
Transfer Quarterback Jacob Park came in and split time with 2015’s starter Joel Lanning. But, as the year progressed it became more about Park and less about Lanning.
Park threw for 1,791 yards and 12 Touchdowns in his first college action. Lanning tossed the ball for 1,290 yards and 9 Touchdowns. Lanning was more of the running Quarterback with 518 yards and 11 Touchdowns.
Jacob Park should be the starter in 2017. He will be interesting to watch as a junior this season. He is still listed at 6-4, 205, will he put on any weight and possibly become a draft able Quarterback? The Cyclone’s best receiver, Allen Lazard who is just slightly smaller than Megatron at 6-5, 225 decided to return for his senior season and that will benefit the entire team. Lazard hauled in 69 passes for just over a 1,000 yards last season.
Iowa State will not compete for the Big 12 championship in 2017, but with head coach Campbell, Quarterback Jacob Park, big Wide Receiver Allen Lazard and a few others, they may be a much improved team this season.