AMES – Iowa State head football coach Matt Campbell believes in the motto that strong leadership breeds success.
That is why choosing the proper captains to lead and mentor the team is a critical part of a team’s journey to prosperity.
Campbell has identified those leaders with the announcement that senior wide receiver Allen Lazard, senior linebacker Joel Lanning, senior safety Kamari Cotton-Moya, senior offensive lineman Jake Campos, junior cornerback Brian Peavy and junior quarterback Jacob Park were named captains for the 2017 season.
The captains were selected by their teammates.
Lazard, Lanning and Cotton-Moya are the first two-time team captains since James White (2012-13), as both were tabbed as captains for the second consecutive season.
A native of Urbandale, Iowa, Lazard has been a leader on and off the field in his first three seasons as a Cyclone. He followed in his father’s footsteps be being named a captain a year ago. Lazard’s father, Kevin, was a co-captain of the 1993 Cyclone football team.
Lazard’s numbers as a wide receiver are some of the best in school history, and he enters the 2017 season as one of the top wideouts in the nation. His 170 career receptions ranks second in ISU history and second among active FBS players, and his 2,419 career receiving yards is third in ISU history and fourth among active FBS players.
Lazard, who is a Biletnikoff Award Watch List member and was named to a number of preseason All-America teams, become only the fourth player in school history to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in a season in 2016.
Lanning, who hails from Ankeny, Iowa, has always generated respect among his teammates, but his loyalty and team-first attitude was enhanced in the offseason.
After starting a total of 14 games at quarterback during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Lanning switched to linebacker prior to spring drills because he knew that’s where his team needed him most.
Lanning was a solid quarterback, passing for over 2,500 yards and 19 touchdowns over the last two seasons. He also proved to be a tough runner, rushing for 518 yards and leading the team in touchdowns (11) in 2016.
He will likely be a two-way player in 2017, seeing action in short-yardage situations on offense.
Cotton-Moya enters his senior season as one of the best and most experienced safeties in the Big 12.
A native of Bakersfield, Calif., Cotton-Moya was a Second-Team All-Big 12 selection in 2016, leading the team and ranking 27th nationally in solo tackles with 58. He is ISU’s active leader in career tackles with 190 and a member of the Jim Thorpe Watch list for the nation’s best defensive back.
Campos, a native of West Des Moines, Iowa, will anchor the Cyclone offensive line in his senior season after sitting out the 2016 campaign with a broken leg.
The Wuerffel Trophy Watch list recipient leads all Cyclone offensive linemen in career starts with 23 and is a two-time First-Team Academic All-Big 12 recipient.
Peavy has emerged as one of the best corners in the league, earning Honorable Mention All-Big 12 honors in his first two seasons.
The junior from Houston, Texas ranked fourth in the Big 12 in passes defended (12) in 2016 and his three career interceptions leads the team.
Park, a junior from Charleston, S.C., took over signal-caller duties late in the 2016 season and thrived.
Park recorded a pair of 300-yard passing games last year and completed 60.5 percent of his passes, averaged 264.4 yards and tossed eight TDs in his last five games. Park, who is on the watch list for the Maxwell Award, averaged 13.47 yards per completion in 2016 to rank 27th nationally.
Iowa State opens the season on Sept. 2, playing host to UNI at 7 p.m.