URBANDALE, Iowa — Over the past year, Allen Lazard says he was asked the status of his non-binding verbal commitment to ISU on a daily basis.
Reporters, fans, classmates, guys on the street, they all wanted to know: Will the four-star Lazard, an Army All-American, really stick with his Cyclones commit?
Lazard took an official visit to Notre Dame in October but never once backed off his pledge, which he gave to Paul Rhoads in December of 2012. On Wednesday, he signed his letter of intent to Iowa State, putting to bed any question on where he'd end up.
"Definitely," Lazard said with a smile when asked if he was relieved. "It's been very exciting, I guess, lots of ups and downs. When I first committed I was relieved to have it over, or at least I thought it'd be over.
"Staying true to my word, that's how my parents raised me."
Flanked to his left and right by his parents and siblings — older brother Kevin, an ISU walk-on, wasn't there — Lazard posed for pictures with a blank sheet of paper and pen, having signed before the 7 a.m. news conference.
Lazard Talks LOI
"I think this was an appropriate way to do it," he said of the ceremony. "Obviously I've never had this many cameras in my face before — it's a little overwhelming at first but I'm sure I'll have to deal with it sooner or later."
That's likely. After a 46-catch, 1065-yard, 16-touchdown senior season, Lazard ended up the No. 23 wide receiver in the country and a MaxPreps and USA Today All-American.
Realistically, fans shouldn't expect the 6-foot-5 Lazard to carry such production into his freshman year, but he will most likely be a contributor in what is suddenly a deep receiving corps; Lazard is one of three incoming freshmen and the Cyclones will also have eligible USF transfer D'Vario Montgomery, the No. 22 WR in 2012.
Rhoads will hold a press conference to discuss the signees at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Lazard said the long-term stability of the program with a coach signed for eight more years helped counteract four consecutive losing seasons, which at most schools would put the coach on the hot seat.
"Having him with that 10-year extension was a big part, knowing I'll have the same coach for four or five years," the top-150 player said. "That was a big part of knowing where I was going."
The Lazard Files
Statistics by Season