(From Iowa State Athletics)
AMES, Iowa – Iowa State head football coach Matt Campbell understands the importance of a player-led program.
He specifically noted it at 2018 Iowa State Football Media Day.
“The next step for us is to be consistent is player-led leadership,” Campbell said. “When you become an elite-level football program, 90 percent of the time, it’s the players leading.”
Campbell has identified those leaders and is confident the program is in safe hands with the announcement that senior cornerback Brian Peavy, senior quarterback Kyle Kempt, junior running back David Montgomery and junior defensive lineman Ray Lima are the captains for the 2018 season.
The captains were selected by their teammates.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the choices,” Campbell noted.
Peavy joins recent Cyclone stars on the gridiron Allen Lazard, Joel Lanning and Kamari Cotton-Moya as two-time team captains.
A senior from Houston, Texas, Peavy enters his final Iowa State campaign as the active team leader in tackles (232), pass breakups (30) and interceptions (5).
Peavy was a Second-Team All-Big 12 selection in 2017, leading the team in takeaways (4) and ranking third in tackles (88). He also led the team and ranked 25th nationally in fumbles recovered (2).
The lockdown corner, who has 34 career starts, is the NCAA active leader in career passes defended with 35.
Peavy is a preseason All-Big 12 team member and is on the Bednarik Award watch list for college football’s top defender.
Kempt, a former walk-on, emerged as ISU’s starter in the fifth game of the 2017 season and directed the Cyclones to a victory in the Liberty Bowl, their fourth bowl in school history.
Kempt was 5-3 as a starter, including two wins over top-five opponents (Oklahoma, TCU).
In just eight games played, the Massillon, Ohio native broke ISU’s single-season completion mark (66.3) and tossed 15 TDs to just three interceptions, tying for fifth on ISU’s season TD pass chart.
Kempt threw a TD pass in all eight games and posted a pair of 300-yard outings, including 343-yard effort in the OU win.
Kempt, who is on the Davey O’Brien, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm and Manning Award watch lists, enters his senior season as ISU’s career leader in completion percentage (66.5) and with a streak of 130 consecutive passes without an interception, the sixth-best string in school history.
Montgomery, who is a member of the Maxwell and Doak Walker Award watch lists, became the 14th player in school history to crack the 1,000-yard barrier in 2017 when he rushed for 1,146 yards. He ranked third in the Big 12 in rushing yards per game at 88.2.
The Cincinnati, Ohio native was one of the toughest backs to bring down, forcing 109 missed tackles to earn First-Team All-American honors by Pro Football Focus and First-Team All-Big 12 accolades.
Montgomery tallied six 100-yard rushing games and 11 TDs a year ago.
He also proved to be a threat as a pass-catcher, ranking fifth on the team in receptions with 36, the second-best season total by a Cyclone back in school history.
Montgomery will enter his junior year with 1,709 rushing yards, eight 100-yard rushing games, 49 receptions and 425 receiving yards in his career.
Lima emerged as one of the top interior defenders in his first season as a Cyclone in 2017.
The Los Angeles, Calif., native, who is a member of the Bronko Nagurski and Outland Trophy watch lists, earned honorable mention All-Big 12 accolades a year ago while leading Iowa State to one of its greatest defensive seasons in recent history.
Lima’s work in the trenches helped the Cyclones rank second in the Big 12 and 26th nationally in scoring defense (20.9). ISU also tallied a team-record 96 TFL thanks to Lima’s efforts.
Lima registered nine starts in all 13 games played, ending the season with 25 tackles, 4.5 TFL and two QB hurries.