The Iowa State football program is coming off a respectable 2023 season. The Cyclones went 7-6 and finished 6-3 in Big 12 play. Nevertheless, former quarterback Hunter Dekkers is making headlines amid his JUCO bounce-back after being involved in a gambling probe.

Dekkers joined the Iowa State football program in 2020 and played quarterback for three seasons. However, in September of 2023, he and three other ISU athletes pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of underage gambling, per insight from ESPN.

The group initially faced an aggravated misdemeanor charge of tampering with records that carried a maximum penalty of two years in prison, but they received a fine and no other penalties as part of their plea deal.

Dekkers left the Iowa State football program afterward but still took online classes. He explained that he lost the rest of his NCAA eligibility from a bet he placed on his team from a competition in 2021. Dekkers was not playing in the game, yet the bet was linked to his account.

Now, the former Cyclones QB is joining a JUCO program at Iowa Western Community College. Dekkers believes joining the team will be the best step for his football career after having his time cut short at Iowa State.

“I decided that going to JUCO was the best route in order to continue to play football and try to get to the next level,” Dekkers told ESPN. “I've dedicated and worked my whole life for this sport and my dream. I can't let one mistake define my whole entire career. That's not who I am. I can't quit because something gets hard.”

Dekkers amassed 3,044 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions with Iowa State in 2022. He has outstanding experience and hopes to rekindle his career at Iowa Western CC.

Hunter Dekkers looks to new beginnings after Iowa State football stint

Dekkers would like to achieve great things in football again, but one aspect he is looking forward to the most with his new JUCO program is simply being with teammates.

“To know that I'm able to be around a group of guys again, work together with a group of guys again and play football again, it's honestly been a breath of fresh air, Dekkers said.

The former Cyclones QB  has not played a college football game since 2022. Thus, his training and comradery with teammates have been quite isolated. However, Dekkers has been determined not to give up despite the challenging situation he faced at Iowa State.

“In this situation, it would have been really easy to just quit and never play again, and just walk away. But for myself, I just couldn't do it. I've worked too hard for everything and I will continue to work every single day for my dreams.”

It will be interesting to how Dekkers performs with the Reivers amid his new football journey.

Meanwhile, Iowa State will continue to do all it can to climb the Big 12 standings amid fierce competition. The team looks to reload during the offseason in hopes of an improved regular season and postseason showing.