ISU's Paul Rhoads Talks Up Lazard, 2014 Class

By Rob Gray, Correspondent

Urbandale High School senior Allen Lazard, flanked by his father Kevin and brother Ammanuel, 11, takes questions from the media at a mock-signing of letter of intent to play football at Iowa State, seen here on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, at Urbandale High in Urbandale, Iowa. (Charlie Litchfield/The Register)


By KCRG Sports

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads formally announced the class of 2014 Wednesday with typical bravado, then stopped talking and held up an important document.

“That’s Allen Lazard’s National Letter of Intent,” Rhoads said of his four-star crown jewel recruit. “Let me talk about Allen Lazard a little bit.”

So he did.

Lazard, a 6-5, 215-pound wide receiver from Urbandale, maintained a commitment he’d made 14 months ago to the Cyclones’ program.

That’s a big deal, as Rhoads’ affirmed while referencing Lazard’s main other suitor (Notre Dame), as well as an in-state program to the east.

“He’s not going to a school in northern Indiana,” Rhoads said of Lazard, a high school all-American. “Boy, they wasted a lot of time and money. He’s not going to another school in this state, who feverishly tried to call him about a half a dozen times in the last week.”

Rhoads held court in a room filled with media, assistant coaches, players and supporters of a program that went 3-9 last season, but finished on a two-game win streak.

He talked up the son of a former ISU captain (Lazard, whose father Kevin played defensive back), the son of an astronaut (offensive lineman Cole Anderson), a bruising hockey player (punter Colin Downing) and a 2,500-yard rusher (running back Mike Warren), among others.

He touted seven junior college transfers — more than double the number recruited last season — who will naturally be expected to make an immediate impact.

“Six on defense, we needed depth there, we needed some experience injected with those guys,” Rhoads said. “So I think all six of those guys will have an opportunity to compete.”

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