Brock Purdy bounced back in grand fashion to show that he’s got the makeup to become one of the best to play QB at Iowa State
Randy Peterson, email@example.com
AMES, Ia. — Here’s how close Brock Purdy is to already becoming one of the best — ever — to quarterback an Iowa State football team.
► He needs one more 300-yard passing game to equal what career-leader Bret Meyer did in 48 games between 2004 and 2007.
► His 170.7 passing efficiency is a bunch better that the 141.4 standard that Kyle Kempt set.
► He’s just 179 passing yards from cracking the school’s Top 10 — and he’s already there in the touchdown pass category.
Proof is in the statistics. As long as this talented sophomore stays healthy, he’s on a path that leads to Cyclone greatness — and he’s only played 13 games.
Purdy has elite talent. He’s a threat with his right arm and his legs. He’s so focused on football that he does academic homework in the football complex’s quarterback meeting room.
He does academic work in the football complex’ quarterback room
“That guy’s a gym rat,” coach Matt Campbell said after Purdy’s record-setting, three-quarter performance during Saturday’s 72-20 victory against Louisiana-Monroe at Jack Trice Stadium.
“He’s here as much as our coaching staff is, studying and detailing what it takes to be a great quarterback.”
Purdy’s 510 yards of offense — 435 while completing 77.8% of his 27 passes, and 75 on his nine rushes — was the best by a Cyclones quarterback. Figuring in six touchdowns — three passing and three rushing — tied a school record.
Doing all that great stuff against a non-conference opponent is one thing, but he’s also proven he can play similarly against the Big 12. First up is Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. game at 3-0 Baylor.
Against the Bears during last season’s 28-14 Cyclones victory that included a fight and David Montgomery’s ejection, Purdy had 296 total yards — 230 and a touchdown passing, and 66 and a touchdown running.
Purdy and Baylor in 2018
“I thought the biggest thing with Brock was the difficulty in getting him tackled and on the ground,” Bears coach Matt Rhule said after the game at Jack Trice Stadium. “We had multiple chances in the first half to sack him. We knew he was a pump-fake guy; he does it really, really well.
“We still fell for it a couple times.”
Purdy still pump fakes, and he still does it “really, really well.” He completed passes to seven receivers in that 2018 games. Saturday in Waco, up to nine could have receptions.
“I told Brock he’s awesome,” said receiver Tarique Milton said after turning three receptions into 142 yards. “He’s one of the coldest people I’ve ever seen, and I told him I wanted to be like him one day.”
Purdy is second to Texas Tech’s Alan Bowman in the Big 12 with an average of 329.7 passing yards a game. His 362.3 total yards average is behind only Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts. Iowa State is second to the Sooners as the conference’s most prolific passing team.
Brock Purdy and Drew Brees
“He’s still young. He’s still a sophomore,” flanker Deshaunte Jones said. “The talent is through the roof for that guy. That guy is special.”
Former Iowa State quarterback Sage Rosenfels, who played eight NFL seasons, tweeted this during Saturday’s game:
“There’s a lot of @drewbrees in Brock Purdy’s game.”
That’s not the first time I’ve heard Purdy and professional football insinuated in the same sentence. Purdy brought it up point-blank during our first conversation. It was in January 2018, when Purdy was in the Tuscaloosa airport after a weekend visit to Alabama.
He was one of the top unsigned quarterbacks in the 2018 recruiting class, and at the time, he was also considering Alabama and UCF and possibly even Illinois.
He told me that in a perfect world, he’d like to play as soon as possible, figuring that’d be 2019.
He’s humble, too
“It doesn’t matter to me, as long as I can develop and get ready for the NFL,” the personable Purdy told me. “It’d be nice, I guess, but I don’t know if it’s really reality.”
He attended an Iowa State basket game in early January 2018. The student-section chanted “We want Brock,” when he was spotted, and eventually, others in Hilton Coliseum picked up on what was happening.
“That’s something you don’t forget,” Purdy said.
Purdy has completed 70% or more of his passes in his last three games — 77.8 Saturday, 70.6 against Iowa and 73.2 against Northern Iowa. He completed 78.3% last season against Baylor.
“All the receivers are making plays,” Purdy said Saturday after becoming the first Big 12 quarterback with 400 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns in the same game. “When Tarique gets the ball, he’s explosive and speedy. Deshaunte’s so reliable. (La’Michael) Pettway is making plays — and we still have young guys that haven’t seen the field yet who can make things happen.”
When reminded that the quarterback getting them the ball has something to do with that also, he shrugged.
“Yeah, but they’re the ones making plays,” Purdy said. “All I have to do is get the ball to them.”
So, go ahead and add “humble” to Purdy’s lengthy list of attributes. He’s got a bunch of that in him, too.
Randy Peterson is the veteran Iowa State columnist for the Register. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, 515-284-8132, and on Twitter at @RandyPete. No one covers the Cyclones like the Register. Subscribe today at Des Moines Register.com/Deal to make sure you never miss a moment.
Source: Des Moines Register