AMES, Iowa – Filling a need. It’s been a cliché term when head coaches talk about their recruiting classes on National Signing Day, but that’s exactly what Iowa State head football coach Paul Rhoads did today.
Rhoads and Iowa State had 25 players sign National Letters of Intent, as the Cyclones addressed their needs by replenishing positions with future stars on the gridiron.
ISU’s 2014 class, ranked in the top 50 nationally by Scout.com, features seven junior college players – all of whom Rhoads believes can contribute right away – and 18 prep players. It was a perfect balance, and Rhoads is happy with the recruiting efforts of his staff.
“I am very pleased with how the whole process worked out,” Rhoads said. “Our coaching staff did a phenomenal job. In the sport of football, you have to address every position. We did that with this class and we have guys who can make an impact right away.”
The future of ISU football will arrive on campus from 11 states/provinces. Texas is most represented with eight. The Cyclones signed only one Iowan in their class, but he is a big one – perhaps one of the biggest recruits in school history.
Allen Lazard, who was a three-time first-team all-state elite team member at Urbandale (Iowa) High School, shunned offers from some of the nation’s best programs to follow in the footsteps of his father, Kevin, as a Cyclone.
Name the national honor, and chances are Lazard earned it. The four-star receiver was a first-team all-USA All-American, a top-50 national recruit by Rivals.com and played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, joining Jake Campos as Cyclones to play in the prestigious bowl game in back-to-back seasons.
Rhoads is thrilled to have Lazard in a Cyclone uniform next season.
“Allen was the first commitment and first member of this class,” Rhoads said. “It marks the second year in a row the top-rated player in the state of Iowa has chosen Iowa State. This is a young man who has gotten phenomenal national attention and was recruited by the traditional historical programs in college football and kept on turning them away to stay true to his word to be an Iowa State Cyclone.”
ISU’s class features six defensive backs, four offensive linemen, four linebackers, three defensive linemen, three wide receivers, two running backs, a quarterback, a tight end and a kicker. Nine different players in the class were ranked in the top 100 nationally by Rivals.com or Scout.com in their respective positions, including a pair of running backs: Mike Warren (No. 35 by Rivals.com) and Martinez Syria (No. 85 by Scout.com).
Three of these Cyclones enrolled in the spring semester at Iowa State and will participate in spring drills: linebacker Jordan Harris, a 5-11, 233-pound junior from Clarksdale, Miss., safety Devron Moore, a 5-11, 185-pound junior from Carthage, Mo., and defensive end Gabe Luna, a 6-1, 245-pound junior from Garden City, Kan.