Massillon's Kyle Kempt commits to Cincinnati

Todd Porter
Updated: Monday, April 2, 2012
Massillon QB Kyle Kempt<br /><div id="dfp-300x250" style="float:right;"><script type="text/javascript">googletag.display("dfp-300x250");</script></div>
Massillon QB Kyle Kempt

MASSILLON  Three years ago Kyle Kempt could not have told you much about the University of Cincinnati’s football team. Three years from now he may be leading it.

Kempt verbally committed to Cincinnati after visiting the Bearcats over the weekend. Kempt, who transferred to Massillon from Oregon after his father’s job was relocated, warmed to the idea of playing in Ohio after he fell in love with Cincinnati.

“Three or four years ago, I had no idea I’d be playing in Ohio,” Kempt said. “I heard about Cincinnati before I came here. Now I just fell in love with it.”

The Bearcats, a Big East school with an automatic BCS bowl bid, have had some of the best success among the schools recruiting Kempt. His 6-foot-5, 200-pound body is a good fit for UC’s multiple offense that throws quite a bit out of the shotgun.

“It came down to where I felt was the best place for me after all the visits and trips,” Kempt said. “Something was telling me this was the place for me. I was surprised I committed early, but at the same time I felt strongly about it.”

Kempt is the first Massillon quarterback to commit to a BCS school since Justin Zwick went to Ohio State in 2004.

Cincinnati went 10-3 last year and played in the Liberty Bowl. Before that, it was 12-1 and 11-3 and played in the Sugar Bowl in 2010 and the Orange Bowl in 2009.

“It’s a great fit for him athletically and academically,” Massillon head coach Jason Hall said.

The other notable schools that offered Kempt were Mississippi, Tennessee, West Virginia and Indiana as well as Mid-American Conference schools. The other BCS schools either have not had the recent success the Bearcats have had or didn’t fit Kempt’s skill set. He is more of a drop-back passer.

Cincinnati also has one of the best engineering schools in the country. Kempt plans to major in the field.

“That was a huge factor ... academics and football and this was the best fit,” Kempt said. “They’re so used to winning. Now we’re looking to build a class where instead of just getting to a BCS bowl, which they have done two of the last three years, we’re looking to win one now.”

Kempt is a brainy quarterback. Massillon’s passing offense has been a little limited in his two years as a starter because of pass protection. But Kempt has thrown 30 touchdown passes and just eight interceptions.

He has a 4.125 grade-point average and is ranked first in his class. He said it is likely he will graduate early from Massillon and enroll at Cincinnati for spring practice in 2013.

“Now that this is all taken care of, I can devote all my energy and focus into Massillon and leading us to a successful season,” Kempt said. “We’ve moved around a lot and I never really got to grow up in a state where most of the people are, like here in Ohio, Ohio State fans. I’m very happy with my decision and thankful for the opportunity.”