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Record-setting Western Kentucky QB Bailey Zappe declares for 2022 NFL draft

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  • Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
    Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
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  • Bailey Zappe
    American football player

Bailey Zappe is a one-and-done quarterback at the top level of college football.

The record-setting Western Kentucky quarterback announced Monday that he was declaring for the 2022 NFL draft. Zappe had an extra year of eligibility to use in college football because of the COVID-19 pandemic but is unsurprisingly choosing to head to the pros after one of the best passing seasons in college football history.

Zappe came to Western Kentucky ahead of the 2021 season after spending four seasons at Houston Baptist, an FCS school. He transferred to WKU as former Houston Baptist assistant Zach Kittley was named the Hilltoppers' offensive coordinator.

Kittley came to WKU because of the passing success Zappe had in his offense at Houston Baptist. And that success carried over to the top level of college football after WKU got off to a sluggish 1-4 start. The Hilltoppers capped a 9-5 season with a win over Appalachian State in the Boca Raton Bowl as Zappe set two NCAA passing records.

Zappe was 33-of-47 passing for 422 yards and threw for six touchdowns in the bowl win. Those marks gave him the NCAA records for most passing yards and touchdowns in a single season. Zappe’s 5,967 passing yards broke a record set by Texas Tech QB B.J. Symons in 2003 and his 62 TDs broke LSU QB Joe Burrow’s record of 60 TDs in 2019.

Zappe won't be one of the first QBs chosen in the 2022 draft but he will be an intriguing Day 2 or 3 prospect for teams looking for a developmental quarterback as Air Raid passers are now getting more consideration from NFL teams after the success of passers like Patrick Mahomes and Kyler Murray. 

Kittley, meanwhile, is also spending just one season at WKU. He's heading to his hometown of Lubbock, Texas, to take over as the offensive coordinator at Texas Tech under new coach Joey McGuire.  

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