As a true freshman, quarterback Brock Purdy became a revelation the instant he took the field for significant snaps as Iowa State’s signal caller, but behind Purdy were several experienced players ready to take the offensive helm should Purdy miss any snaps.
After the departure of Zeb Noland, Devin Moore and the exhaustion of eligibility with Kyle Kempt, the quarterback depth of yesteryear leaves Iowa State with a host of young and inexperienced quarterbacks behind incumbent Purdy.
As the unquestioned starter entering the 2019 season, Purdy stepped in Iowa State’s fifth game against Oklahoma State and took over the job from backup-turned-starter Noland, who was filling in for injured starter Kempt.
Purdy thrived in the role and threw for 318 yards on 18-23 passing, four touchdowns and one interception which pushed an Iowa State team without David Montgomery or Kyle Kempt over the Cowboys 48-42.
Purdy’s play pushed starter Kyle Kempt to a backup role and Noland to third string on the depth chart, which prompted his decision to transfer away from the program midseason.
As a starter, Purdy compiled a 6-2 record and guided the Cyclones to their second straight bowl game at the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas which the Cyclones lost 28-26 to Washington State.
Purdy finished the season with 2,250 passing yards and tossed 16 touchdowns to seven interceptions.
Purdy finished the season ranked 15th nationally in completion percentage after completing 66.4% of his passes, ranked fourth in the nation in yards per completion at 15.4 and broke the school record for passing efficiency and ranking sixth nationally at 169.9.
Due to his record breaking true freshman year, Purdy was named ESPN’s Big 12 Freshman of the Year.
Looking at his sophomore season, Purdy will be without players like Hakeem Butler and David Montgomery, but don’t expect a consistent dip in production or major “sophomore slump” since Purdy will still have plenty of offensive playmakers like tight end Charlie Kolar and wide receivers Tarique Milton and Dashaunte Jones.
In addition to having an array of talented skill players, Purdy will have every starter on the offensive line from last season returning.
Despite missing high volume options in Montgomery and Butler, Purdy will have enough weapons on offense to repeat his freshman-year production.
After redshirting his freshman year, the star of QB1: Beyond the Lights will likely be Iowa State’s “QB2” entering the season.
Mitchell was a three-recruit coming out of high school as a dual threat quarterback with offers from Arizona, Kansas State and South Carolina.
In his senior year of high school, Mitchell split time at quarterback and was injured after six games, but finished with 708 passing yards and nine touchdowns while rushing for 214 yards and four touchdowns. Mitchell’s junior year stat line is more reflective of his talent as he passed for 2,932 yards with 30 passing touchdowns while completing 67.3% of his passes and rushing for 1,058 yards and 15 touchdowns while averaging seven yards a carry.
Against Washington State, Iowa State tried incorporating Mitchell into the offense by having him in the game at the same time as Purdy and running on a “jet sweep” across the formation with Purdy having the option to give Mitchell the ball, but Mitchell didn’t receive a carry.
Mitchell was listed as third on the quarterback depth chart behind Purdy and Kempt for the game.
Mitchell will be mixed into the offense similarly this coming season because he is too dynamic of an athlete to be standing on the sidelines for an entire game.
The brother of tight end Charlie Kolar -- the redshirt senior is the second most experienced quarterback on Iowa State’s roster after transferring from Oklahoma State.
John appeared in one game for Oklahoma State where he completed one of two passes for eight yards and rushed for 18 yards on two attempts against Southeastern Louisiana.
John will likely be the Cyclones third-string quarterback on the depth chart.
Almost guaranteed to redshirt, the Kansas product is an incoming three-star recruit who posses incredible size at six-feet-six-inches tall and 230 pounds. He passed for 2,042 yards and 14 touchdowns and rushed for 544 yards and four touchdowns as a senior and was an honorable mention all-state selection.
With underclassmen Purdy and Mitchell serving as the de facto No. 1 and 2 on the depth chart, the Cyclones have no reason to waste a year of eligibility on Dean to serve as the team’s third-string quarterback even if he were able to beat John Kolar for the spot.
While the experience of the Cyclone’s backup signal callers is limited, Iowa State has a talented athlete in Mitchell should he ever have to step in for Purdy for limited time, but Purdy avoiding missing anytime for next season will be crucial for a successful Cyclone season.