The Iowa State Cyclones are not known for their ability to recruit the top talent to Ames. That didn’t get in the way, however, when they snagged the commitment of one of the top wide receivers in the 2014 class in four-star recruit Allen Lazard. They got some help from a family connection, of course, but they won’t let that stop their excitement over their incoming prospect. Of course, other schools have also taken notice of Lazard and are going to be pushing him this season to flip on his verbal commitment to the Cyclones. Does Paul Rhoads have reason to worry?
When you look at the list of Lazard’s suitors, you would think so. The Oregon Ducks and Cal Bears have been pushing for him this summer and he just wrapped up an unofficial visit with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish where he said he was “blown away” and will likely go back for an official visit this fall. He’s also admitted that if the Alabama Crimson Tide, Ohio State Buckeyes or Florida Gators step up their interest in him, he would definitely sit down and listen to what they have to say.
Rhoads will have to continue to rely on that family connection to keep Lazard in the Iowa State camp. Lazard’s father played for the Cyclones and his brother is on the team now. He said that Iowa State just felt “comfortable” and that he liked the team, the coaches and the direction the program was headed. Lazard has also mentioned how the state of Iowa doesn’t produce a lot of four-star recruits and the ones that they do produce generally leave the state. That’s something he seems interested in changing.
One of the other advantages Iowa State has is their lack of playmakers means that Lazard is likely going to see the field sooner in Ames than he would in South Bend, Tuscaloosa or Eugene. While the receiver has said that playing time is a minor influence in his decision, it can no doubt boost the home-town team’s chances that he would be playing in front of friends and family and they wouldn’t have to wait long to see him.
For now, Lazard is firmly in the Iowa State camp and intends on following through on his commitment. But it’s a long season and there are very talented recruiters out there. If Iowa State takes a step backwards and the premier programs come with offers that intrigue him, could Lazard leave home for the brighter lights of more successful teams?