Four-star receiver Lazard sticks with Iowa State

Urbandale star committed 14 months ago, turned down schools like Notre Dame

Published: February 4 2014 | 7:06 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 3:11 am in
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You’ve seen the highlight reels.

The speed, strength and leaping ability that Urbandale star and Iowa State football signee Allen Lazard showcased on fields in-state and out.

He’s a consensus four-star wide receiver and played in the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

And finally, at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Lazard’s expected to fax in his National Letter of Intent, officially becoming the headliner in the Cyclones’ recruiting class of 2014.

Long time coming?

“It seems like forever,” the 6-4, 207-pound two-sport star standout said before a recent high school basketball game.

That’s a mighty long time — but Lazard’s skills reverberate across fields and floors, in the end zone and above the rim.

It is basketball season, after all, and he’s got game in that regard, as well.

“When we do go on the road to play, I think there’s a lot of people that are just out to watch him play,” said J-Hawks basketball coach Brad Bjorkgren, who helped mentor a future NFL pro, Eddie Berlin, in the 1990s.

Sure, Lazard’s one of the top wide receiver recruits in the nation and turned down the likes of Notre Dame to remain true to the ISU commitment he made 14 months ago.

But National Signing Day hoopla aside, it’s the hardwood that’s currently commanding his attention.

Urbandale has won a season-best four straight games, including a tense 39-38 triumph over arch-rival and Class 4A No. 9 Johnston.

“This is my last high school sport,” said Lazard, who set a single-season school record for touchdown catches (16) last season. “We have a lot of young guys on the team right now, so I’m just trying to keep that Urbandale tradition of good basketball (going).”

Lazard’s contribution to that tradition took flight at the beginning of last season.

The site: Ames High School.

“He had six dunks,” Bjorkgren said. “It was almost like he set the (school) dunk record for a game, season and career all in one night.”

Lazard soared for 44 dunks last season and is averaging 13.1 points and 9.1 rebounds this season.

His emphatic aerial exploits are now so routine, they no longer wow those around him.

“It’s kind of amazing because you go to any other high school game and some kid dunks it, everybody goes crazy,” said Bjorkgren, who added that Lazard has the talent to play Division I hoops. “Allen could do this windmill dunk that might land on somebody’s head, or bounces hard off the floor — it’s just unbelievable how hard he slams it. But everybody’s just kind of, ho-hum. We see that in practice all the time.”

Teammate Evan Economos, a reserve guard, certainly did.

He played cornerback for Urbandale’s football team.

“You kind of get both sides of it,” Economos said, “the athletic skill, I guess.”

The J-Hawks get the buzz that surrounds Lazard, too — especially when ISU Coach Paul Rhoads and new offensive coordinator Mark Mangino attend games.

“It’s kind of funny when we go to other places how he can bring in a big crowd,” teammate Ryan Yoder said. “He can always get the crowd hyped up.”

Soon, that may be the case in Ames again.

First, in a rescheduled basketball game against the Little Cyclones set for Feb. 18.

Eventually, at Jack Trice Stadium, where Lazard’s been going to games — his father, Kevin, played for ISU, and his brother, Anthony, is a reserve linebacker — since shortly after his birth.

“I know my role at Iowa State,” Lazard said. “Obviously, I’m a big face right now and I haven’t even stepped on campus yet. I’m just trying to do my job as a player; a player to be, I guess.”

Tidbits and trivia on ISU football signee Allen Lazard

*A four-star wide receiver, according to scout.com, rivals.com and others.

*2013 U.S. Army All-American game participant and MaxPreps and USA Today All-American.

*Unabashed about his attachment to his small stuffed animal, ‘Simba”, named for the “Lion King” lead character. “I’ve always had him,” Lazard said. “I always bring him on my trips and sleep with him.”

*Lazard was “ecstatic” when the Cyclones brought in offensive coordinator Mark Mangino early last month. “(He) lets a player control the game,” he said.

*Set Urbandale High School record for touchdown receptions in a single season (16, 2013).

*Ran on the school’s 2011 shuttle hurdle relay team that won a Class 4A state championship.

*Played AAU basketball for Martin Brothers, a team that’s showcased players such as Doug McDermott (Creighton), and Adam Woodbury and Mike Gesell (Iowa) in recent years.

ISU football class of 2014 commitments

Allen Lazard, WR, Urbandale

Michael Warren, RB, Lawton, Okla.

Terry Ayeni, DL, JUCO, Roswell, N.M.

Michael Johnson, DB, Clearwater, Fla.

Dale Pierson, DL, JUCO, Pasadena, Calif.

Brian Peavy, DB, Houston

Gabe Luna, DL, JUCO, El Dorado, Kan.

Darius Campbell-Lee, QB, Spring, Texas

Wendell Taiese, OL, JUCO, Oakland, Calif.

Quijan Floyd, DB, JUCO, Santa Monica, Calif.

Devron Moore, DB, JUCO, Miami, Okla.

Colin Downing, P, Whitefish Bay, Wis.

William Windham, OL, Schertz, Texas

Cole Anderson, OL, League City, Texas

Juan Wesley, WR, Harvey, Ill.

Reggan Northrup, DB, Jacksonville, Fla.

Orion Salters, WR, Dallas

Kody Kodanko, OL, De Pere, Wis.

Sam Seonbuchner, LB, Hartland, Wis.

Scott Schaffner, TE, Peculiar, Mo.

Martinez Syria, RB, Houston

Jordan Harris, LB, JUCO, Wesson, Miss.

Willie Harvey, LB, St. Augustine, Fla.

Victor Holmes, DB, La Porte, Texas

De’Monte Ruth, DB, Dallas

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