Published January 13, 2015
Illinois State may have found its answer for the loss of the Missouri Valley Football Conference's all-time passing yardage leader.
Former Iowa State starter Jared Barnett announced Thursday morning on Twitter that he is transferring to Illinois State. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining, beginning with the 2013 season.
Illinois State later confirmed the transfer.
"Jared fills a need that we thought we had to fill," Redbirds coach Brock Spack said. We have two young talented quarterbacks in our program (sophomore Adam Pittser and redshirt freshman Blake Winkler) already that are very capable, but we felt his experience and skill were too valuable. Jared is a very good athlete that can run, but he's a quarterback that can run, not a runner who can throw a little bit. That was important for us and we are glad to have him."
Illinois State is coming off a 9-4 season in which it reached the FCS national quarterfinals, but the Redbirds will lose four-year starting quarterback Matt Brown, the MVFC's 2012 offensive player of the year and its all-time leader with 10,591 passing yards. He also threw for a school-record 78 touchdowns.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Barnett, from Garland, Texas, was in and out of the Iowa State lineup over the last two seasons, making 10 starts. He threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 84 yards in a 37-31 double- overtime win over then-No. 2 Oklahoma State in 2011 to knock the Cowboys out of the national title picture.
Barnett threw for 1,825 yards and 12 touchdowns in two seasons at Iowa State.