The 2014 Iowa State football team is heading into the season with perhaps the most talent they’ve had at the wide receiver position since the Todd Blythe era.
Two of the three starting spots are virtually guaranteed. Junior Quenton Bundrage should start the season as the featured wideout after a breakout 2013 campaign that saw him grab nine touchdown passes and average 14.1 yards per catch. Bundrage electrified Jack Trice Stadium in Iowa State’s game against Texas last year when he took a slant route 97 yards to the house.
The other guaranteed starter is the shifty senior Jarvis West. West’s numbers suffered last year due to a season riddled with injuries, but when healthy, he’s a threat to score every time he touches the ball. West is a player whose talent will be featured under new offensive coordinator Mark Mangino.
As for the third wide receiver spot, it will probably come down to who performs the best during practice leading up to the Cyclones’ opening game against North Dakota State. Let’s take a look at the contenders for the final starting job:
The favorite: Allen Lazard – Freshman. 6-foot-5. 204 pounds. Urbandale, Iowa.
Lazard comes in as the top ranked commit of Iowa State’s 2014 recruiting class. The freshman-to-be led Urbandale to a record of 8-3 his senior season while hauling in 16 touchdown catches and averaging 21.7 YPC – all while being consistently double and triple teamed.
It remains to be seen how Lazard adjusts to the speed of the college game, but he and Bundrage have the potential to become the lightning and thunder of Iowa State’s receiving corps.
The dark horse: D’Vario Montgomery - Sophomore. 6-foot-5. 212 pounds. Winter Park, Florida.
Montgomery is a former 4-star recruit that will have three years of eligibility after transferring to Iowa State from South Florida. He hails from Winter Park, the same high school as current ISU QB Sam Richardson.
Montgomery is another big body that is sure to be utilized in Mangino’s offense. One glance at his offer list out of high school is all that’s needed to realize the potential Montgomery possesses.
Dondre Daley – Sophomore. 6-foot-1. 191 pounds. Tarpon Springs, Florida.
Daley started the final five games for the Cyclones in 2013. The sophomore’s best game came in the 21-17 loss to TCU when he caught four passes for 32 yards.
Tad Ecby – Junior. 6-foot-0. 203 pounds. Houston, Texas.
Ecby began the 2013 season as a starter, but saw his production fall off slightly when Richardson got injured and lost his starting job. Ecby’s best game was the win at Tulsa where he caught six passes for 59 yards.
P.J. Harris – Sophomore. 6-foot-1. 163 pounds. Groveland, Florida.
Harris’ body still needs some work to become a true threat in the Big 12. He caught two passes against Tulsa for 24 yards total.