AMES — Allen Lazard left Ames as the most productive receiver in Iowa State history and at 6-foot-5, many thought he’d be drafted.
He wasn’t. Lazard went to Jacksonville Jaguars training camp in 2018 and didn’t make the team, instead designated to the practice squad. Late in the season, the Green Bay Packers signed him and he played in one game, catching one pass.
In 2019 while still with the Packers, Lazard once again was assigned to the practice squad. But early in the season, he was called up to the active squad. Still, he didn’t see significant playing time until week 6 when quarterback Aaron Rodgers lobbied for Lazard to get into the game.
Lazard didn’t disappoint, catching four passes for 67 yards and a touchdown in a win against the Lions. From that point on, he caught at least two passes every game and ended the season with 35 receptions for 477 yards and three touchdowns.
In 2020, Lazard was slated as the Packers’ No. 2 receiver behind Devante Adams, thanks to his impressive 2019 season. In week 3 against the Saints, Adams was out with an injury and Lazard was the de facto No. 1 option for Rodgers. And once again, Lazard produced. He caught six passes for 146 yards and a touchdown in the Packers’ win over the Saints.
“If you watched how he played and dominated the game, you knew he had elite potential,” Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell said. “Allen was a young man that took the adversity of not getting drafted and became the absolute best version of himself. Going to Jacksonville early and getting some good coaching, then going from Jacksonville to Green Bay and doing what he’s done now — his work ethic, his standard of excellence has risen for him to be the absolute best version of himself he can be.
“It’s really, really fun to watch Allen become what he’s become. He’s a young man that gives our program a shining star to say, ‘Man, if you just go to work and become your best, here’s what can happen.’ Allen is proof of that and we’re really proud of that.”
Charlie Kolar’s calming presence
Tight end Charlie Kolar was out with an injury in Iowa State’s first game against Louisiana.
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Quarterback Brock Purdy didn’t look like himself without his All-Big 12 tight end on the field with him, completing just 47 percent of his passes.
Against TCU in Iowa State’s last game, Kolar was back on the field and Purdy looked more like himself, completing 18 of 23 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown.
Kolar led Iowa State with five receptions.
“Obviously, it was great to have Charlie back because Charlie is a proven successful football player,” Campbell said. “Charlie’s a young man that’s got a lot of respect (from) his teammates and certainly (from) the guy that’s throwing the football. So I think for Brock, to have somebody that was actually one of the primary targets from a year ago back, I think, there was just a sense of security. And I think that’s big.”
Receiver Tarique Milton joined the ranks of injured Cyclones before the TCU game last Saturday.
He, along with left guard Trevor Downing and right guard Rob Hudson, are “day-to-day.”
“We look forward to getting out to practice today to see if any of them made any growth from last weekend to our first practice today,” Campbell said.