If 2020 was a historic year for Iowa State football, 2021 could be even better. On the heels of a 9-3 season topped off with a Fiesta Bowl victory over Oregon, the Cyclones have plenty of reasons to be excited about what's coming back -- beginning with coach Matt Campbell.
Campbell appeared to confirm he would be returning to Ames in a tweet sent on Sunday. Campbell had been on the New York Jets' wishlist, according to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora. However, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic later tweeted on Saturday that Campbell was no longer going to interview with the Jets.
"So grateful for the commitment of so many to continue to want to build our program together," Campbell tweeted. "Our foundation has been built on Loyalty and Faithfulness and it will continue to be our guiding light. Humbled and Grateful to continue to lead to be different."
Campbell is 35-28 in five seasons at Iowa State with four-straight winning seasons. He led the Cyclones to their first Big 12 Championship Game this past year, and has been one of the more coveted coaches on the market on the carousel over the past few years.
Campbell's affirmation isn't the only good news Iowa State is getting. A large number of impact players from 2020 will be taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility provided by the NCAA and/or eschewing the NFL Draft. Among them are quarterback Brock Purdy, linebacker and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Mike Rose, tight ends Chase Allen and Charlie Kolar, and of course All-America running back Breece Hall, who is only a sophomore.
Kolar, a two-time All-America selection, announced his intention to return on Sunday morning shortly ahead of Campbell's tweet.
I’m coming back to Iowa state for one more year— Charlie Kolar (@charliekolar_) January 10, 2021
Iowa State, which punched above its weight for Campbell's first few years, now returns a loaded team for 2021 with actual expectations. This could very well be a preseason top-10 team with legitimate Big 12 championship hopes. While that's not something Iowa State has normally enjoyed, it speaks to the culture and development that Campbell has installed in this program.