Kwah-Mensah Will Walk On at Iowa State

Ames star running back Clifford Kwah-Mensah turned down a full-ride elsewhere to accept an invitation to walk on to the team he grew up rooting for

Clifford Kwah-Mensah says he'll begin his college career at Iowa State with a chip on his shoulder.

The Ames (IA) running back set a state 4A record with 2,806 yards rushing last season, with 40 total touchdowns, but was only extended a scholarship offer by FCS Montana State. At 5-foot-8, Kwah-Mensah understands why.

But after announcing Sunday he'd decided to accept a Cyclones offer to be a preferred walk-on with the football team in the fall — guaranteeing his scholarship spot — Kwah-Mensah is ready to work his way up from scout team to rotational player, much like Jeff Woody.

"Absolutely [I have] a chip," Kwah-Mensah told on Monday. "That's definitely how I'm looking at it. I know I have to work harder than everyone else. Paul Rhoads is big on [opportunities]. I thought about that.

"Coming in and working hard and earning my scholarship, I thought about that a lot. That's one of those things that triggered me to make my decision: If I come in and work hard, things will pay off."

Two weeks ago Iowa State assistant Shane Burnham told Kwah-Menshah he had a spot on the team as a preferred walk-on if he wanted it.

Kwah-Menshah said he has yet to apply to Iowa State, but isn't worried about any roadblocks.

"I know I'm gonna get in, I still have to apply," he said. "That shouldn't be a problem."

The Cyclones carry 85 scholarship players on a team and about 45-50 walk-ons. Per year, that's 10-15 walk-on players, many who are tryouts. A preferred walk-on has his spot on the roster guaranteed and doesn't have to try out.

Iowa State has two running backs in its 2014 recruiting class, Tommy Mister and Martinez Syria, who will have full rides.

Kwah-Mensah could have had one, too, somewhere else, but he wanted to attend the school he grew up rooting for.

"I decided Iowa State was where I wanted to go, where I think I fit better," Kwah-Mensah said. "I know I was turning down scholarship money but I wanted to pursue where I wanted to go."

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