The recruiting process was starting to heat up for Urbandale, Iowa, four-star wide receiver Allen Lazard, but the Rivals250 class of 2014 prospect was already thinking about ending it. He received that extra nudge this past weekend when he saw Rivals250 class of 2013 offensive tackle Jake Campos switch his commitment to Iowa State.
"Before Jake officially committed on Saturday I was already leaning towards Iowa State," Lazard said. "But once he committed on Saturday I was just 100 percent sure I wanted to because I knew how good he is and how good of a team we'd have when I get up there."
By the time Monday rolled around, Lazard was ready to officially end his recruitment and informed the Iowa State staff of his decision.
"I called up there and told Coach [Paul] Rhoads and told Coach [Shane] Burnham," Lazard said. "I'd say they were probably a little bit more surprised, but they were definitely ecstatic and happy when I told them."
Lazard lives 45 minutes from Iowa State's campus. His father played for the Cyclones in the early 1990's, and his older brother, Anthony Lazard, was a redshirt freshman for Iowa State this fall. Those connections certainly paid off for the Cyclones, but Lazard's interest grew during the course of his recruitment.
"The relationships I developed with the coaches and players since they've been recruiting me was like no other team," Lazard said. "When I went there they treated me like I was already there and I felt like I was already part of the team, part of the family. Having my brother going there gave me a blood connection."
Iowa State is coming off a 6-6 regular season campaign in 2012. Lazard attended several of those games in-person and likes the direction of the program.
"I think when I get up there it will be an offense that passes the ball a lot," Lazard said. "Sam Richardson is a redshirt freshman [quarterback] and they have another redshirt in Grant Rohach. Those are two really good quarterbacks. Then, Joel Lanning is coming in this year so they will be really good offensively in the next few years."
Lazard is Iowa State's first commitment in the 2014 class. He is also the top ranked junior prospect in the state of Iowa and has already been selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game in 2014. He plans to put that recruiting capital to good use on the recruiting trail over the next 14 months.
"With my commitment it will help with top in-state recruits. I already talk to most of them every now and then and we'll see each other at Iowa State games," Lazard said. "Then, when I go to the Army Bowl I will be able to get to more highly ranked recruits there, tell them about Iowa State and hopefully attract them up here."
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Lazard is a two-sport star at Urbandale and after coming off a 40-catch, 928-yard and 11-touchdown performance this past fall he is already on the basketball court leading the J-hawks hoops team. His early commitment allows him to focus on the tasks at hand without the distraction of a recruiting process.
"Now that I am committed I don't have to worry much about the colleges coming in," Lazard noted. "I can worry about our goal of winning a state championship. I think this is probably the best chance I'll have to win a state championship in football or basketball and I want to make sure I do it right this year and not have any regrets."