Photo by Russell Marwitz/True To The Cru/russellmarwitz.com
DES MOINES, Iowa- Kyle King is back on a professional roster. And he will be taking the field for the same team that Hall of Famer Kurt Warner began his professional career with 28 years ago.
UMHB’s quarterback on the 2021 Stagg Bowl title team, King signed with the Iowa Barnstormers of the Indoor Football League (IFL), per an announcement from the team on Saturday. It is the second stop of King’s professional career after he graduated following The Cru’s 2022 campaign.
“Kyle is someone we have targeted for a long time,” head coach Dave Mogensen said in the press release. “He put together an amazing run at UMHB, winning a national title and earning an invitation to the Manning Passing Academy. Kyle has the size and ability to play on a bigger stage and he will enter camp ready to compete for the starting job.”
King started at quarterback for two full seasons at UMHB, throwing for 6,971 yards and 82 touchdowns in 31 games. He is UMHB’s all-time leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns and finished 2022 as an All-America selection by the AP, AFCA, and D3football.com, as well as being named a finalist for the prestigious Gagliardi Trophy.
In 2021, he memorably threw for 436 yards in UMHB’s dominant 57-24 win over North Central in the Stags Bowl, setting a program record for passing yards in a single game. Two weeks prior, in the national quarterfinal against Linfield, he became the first UMHB quarterback to throw six touchdown passes in a single game.
He signed and played one game with the German Football League’s Saarland Hurricanes in the spring of 2023, making his pro debut on May 21. The Milano, Texas native was 28-of-50 passing for 431 yards in the contest against the Allgau Comets.
King’s pro career will resume this spring, as he plays at the next level in the United States for the first time when Iowa’s season kicks off. The Barnstormers’ 2024 schedule begins on March 23 at Green Bay, followed by road duels in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Worcester, Massachusetts. The full schedule can be found here.
The IFL has a handful of intricacies that separate it from the NFL, XFL, USFL, and even the Arena Football League. In the IFL on offense, all receivers can be in motion at the same time as the ball is snapped. Perhaps the most notable difference between other leagues and the IFL is the “alley rule” on defense. The “alley” is an imaginary box extending five yards back from the defensive line and is the width of the offense’s two outside offensive linemen (the guards). Nobody other than the defensive linemen can be in the box, making it more difficult for defenses to blitz. As a result, the rushing attack is often utilized more in the IFL as compared to the AFL.
Of course, the biggest difference in both the AFL and IFL is that the field is just 50 yards long and 85 feet wide and played on a field more closely resembling a hockey rink than the standard 100-yard field. Additionally, there are just eight players to a side.
King is not the first Cru Football alum to suit up in the IFL, as Bryson Tucker played with the Green Bay Blizzard, and Javicz Jones was a standout linebacker for Iowa. Jones was inducted into the IFL Hall of Fame in 2019.
There is additional D-III talent on the current Barnstormers’ roster in 2024 as well. UW-Whitewater’s Derek Kumerow plays receiver for the team, and Marian’s Charlie Witek is also a receiver on the roster. Several former NCAA D-II standouts also represent small-college football in the Barnstormers’ organization.