Notebook: Sturdy high on play of wide outs so far

What’s been the most underperforming position group at Iowa State during the first three years of the Paul Rhoads era?

The answer to that is debatable, but some might suggest it’s been the play of the wide receivers. Iowa State’s wide outs look different in 2012 when compared to year’s past. It’s a younger group. With that youth comes some much-needed size. But are the wide receivers ready to take that next step and be difference makers in this offense in 2012? Is this group ready to not only catch the football, but create big plays after doing so?

Todd Sturdy, Iowa State’s new wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator spoke to the media after Monday’s practice in Ames. Here are a few quick hitters on what Coach Sturdy had to say.

BUNDRAGE: As of now, redshirt freshman Quenton Bundrage has been penciled in as a starter for the Sept. 1 opener against Tulsa. I asked Sturdy what Bundrage has done to sit so high on the depth chart so early in his career.

“Just his performance through the spring. He had a good spring,” said Sturdy. “He kept getting better in each scrimmage. He followed it up this fall by having a great scrimmage as well. His learning curve is going in the right direction. He’s getting better each and every time he gets out on the field in a live setting.”

Senior Josh Lenz talked more about Bundrage in a post-practice interview. You can view that interview by CLICKING HERE. 

GET THIS MAN THE BALL: This man that I speak of is sophomore Jarvis West. 

Sure – he’s only 5-foot-7 but West is as slippery as any other player on this roster. The coaching staff knows what Jarvis West is capable of. Now it’s up to them to give him a chance to succeed.

“We have to be creative as coaches to find ways to get Jarvis the ball in the run game and the pass game and really any way that we can,” said Sturdy. “We have several kids who are like that, who are really good in space and in creating space in the passing game. Jarvis is one of those kids. We have to find ways to allow him to do what he does and get him the football.”

Did you know: That Jarvis West is shy. Very shy.

“My deal with Jarvis is, I always tell him that he needs to smile and then he’ll smile right away. He is pretty quiet,” said Sturdy. “He’s not a man of a lot of words but he’s got a great personality. He’s a great human being. He’s a top-shelf guy. He’s a wonderful kid to coach. I’d take a hundred of him.”

TILLER TIME:  Toddy Sturdy on Jerome Tiller so far as a wide receiver…

“Jerome is much improved. He’s had a great camp so far. He’s made plays in every practice and done a lot of good things. I”m really excited about Jerome. He is still learning every day just like the rest of them but I’ve been impressed thus far with what he has done. This football team needs Jerome to perform and contribute. He’s put himself in a position to do that and I’m excited for him. There’s still a bar that’s set high yet. I think he can attain it. I think his best football is ahead of him.”


— What exactly does the passing game coordinator do?

“I help Coach Messingham with the passing game,” said Sturdy.

Simple enough.

— After suffering from a broken collar bone in the spring, senior wide receiver Aaron Horne has been practicing at full speed for Iowa State during fall camp. The same can be said for Albert Gary as well.

“They are both back stronger than ever and doing some really good things.”