Catching Up With Allen Lazard

"Corners are able to press and run with you the whole time. Usually in high school if you get past somebody, it's a touchdown 90 percent of the time. These corners are really good here"

Iowa State wide receiver commit Allen Lazard is the lone Cyclones pledge playing in any All-Star games this weekend, but he's at a big one, down in San Antonio for the Army All-American Bowl.

Basketball season is well underway for Lazard and Urbandale, and that's his main focus right now, his football season having finished nearly two months ago in a playoff loss to Ames High.

Still, Lazard is showing well in the Alamo City during the week's practices and is getting ready for Saturday's nationally-televised game.

AllCyclones.com caught up with Lazard during a lunch break Tuesday via telephone.

AllCyclones: You're down there with all these All-Stars, guys going to Texas, OU, LSU. What's it like to be the only guy repping Iowa State?

Lazard: "It's easy. Kind of an unknown school, I guess, but I'm here to represent my home school and my college.

"We don't really talk about it that much. I've thought about it, though."

Q: Do you find yourself telling the guys down there about Iowa State?

Lazard: "Yeah, a little bit. Some of the California and Texas kids don't know much about us, so they'll ask if I'm committed or not, and I'll tell them."

Q: What's the practice format this week?

Lazard: "We have practice from 10-3. We're at lunch break right now. We've been in full pads so far both days. It's been pretty live, actually."

Q: What have you learned about yourself going against the best high school players in the nation? I know Iowa high school competition might not be as fierce as elsewhere. Have you stacked up as well as you thought you would?

Lazard: "Yeah, I'd say so for the most part. I'm still really rusty right now. I haven't played football since early November. There's still adjustments I'm trying to make these first few days, but I'm still able to get off [cornerbacks] and get open for routes and stuff."

Q: What's different in particular about the defensive backs you're going against? Can you tell what's going to be the biggest adjustment to college just from the few practices you've had?

Lazard: "Probably just the physicality. Corners are able to press and run with you the whole time. Usually in high school if you get past somebody, it's a touchdown 90 percent of the time. These corners are really good here. That'll be the biggest thing. I'll have to make hard catches all the time, I won't be able to be wide-open and make easy over-the-shoulder catches."

Q: Right now, what do you need to improve the most on before August?

Lazard: "Route-running, and recognizing what the defense is trying to do. [Learning] to run my routes where the open spots are. Getting away from the DB and finding the hole in zone. Knowing the offense — what we're trying to do and what the defense is trying to do as well."

Q: Which quarterbacks have you worked with?

Lazard: "Kyle Allen, Jerrod Heard, Drew Barker."

Q: Got a favorite?

Lazard: "Not really, they're all really good quarterbacks, obviously."

Q: Do you have any opportunities during basketball season to stay in "football shape?"

Lazard: "It's kinda hard, you know, because we practice every single day. Basketball is all about your legs and football is more about upper-body. I try to do upper-body lifts and stuff, that's what I'll do when I get back. But I can't do much legs because we do a lot of conditioning and running."

Q: How ready are you to sign so you don't have to answer every week the status of your commitment?

Lazard: "I'm pretty ready. I'm the same percentage as I was when I first committed."


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