AMES — D’Vario Montgomery didn’t have a conventional workout partner this summer. While some guys look for a buddy or teammate to train with during the offseason, Montgomery was running two or three times a day with his dog.
The junior lost 30 pounds and is listed on the official roster at 213 pounds. He credits a lot of those lost pounds to the miles he put in with his American Bulldog, King.
“Any day I could get him outside and run with him,” Montgomery said. “He loves to run around. My thing was I knew I needed to lose the weight and it helped him out a lot. He got a lot bigger and I got a lot smaller.”
When asked how far they ran, Montgomery didn’t have an exact answer. However, it sounded like a long ways for a 40-pound bulldog.
“Probably from here (Jacobson Building/Bergstrom Complex) to the West Ames Hy-Vee, so a pretty long distance.”
The offseason didn’t always go as planned for Montgomery. The 6-foot-6 junior had to sit out spring practice with a left leg injury. He used that time to begin working towards the slimmer frame.
He also started with another training technique that could pay big dividends on the field this fall.
“He took part in yoga this summer and helped his flexibility out a little bit,” Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads said. “Really matured and those are the funnest for me to witness sometimes. When they mature at a later age because you haven’t lost them.”
The maturation of Montgomery could lead to a big season for him on the field this fall. He caught 44 passes for 605 yards and two touchdowns in his first season with the program.
Couple that with a new and improved frame, and it could spell trouble for Big 12 defenses.
“I love it. I feel a lot more explosive and a lot shiftier,” Montgomery said. “I can really tell the difference between when I played last year and this year.”
*** Paul Rhoads once again threw Trever Ryen’s name out there as a guy that could play a big role on Iowa State’s special teams this season. Shane Burnham threw the walk-on from Ida Grove into the mix when talking about returners on Tuesday, but Rhoads took it a step further with an interesting comparison.
“I compare Trever Ryen a lot to Josh Lenz and if I recall correctly he was pretty good back there catching punts and doing something with the ball.”
*** The Iowa State receivers have struggled with drops in past seasons, but wide receivers coach Tommy Mangino says they are working to fix that.
“Drops are going to happen. You watch NFL games, people drop the ball. You watch college games, they drop the ball. That’s just part of the game. We try to minimize them as much as we can and we catch a lot of balls every day. That’s how we do it. You focus on it, you have catch circuits, you do drills that pertain to catching the football and we’re going to continue to do that.”
He also said he aims to get 75 to 100 catches a day for each guy.
*** Senior Quenton Bundrage says suffering a torn ACL on the third play of the season last year changed his outlook on life and football.
“Anything can be taken from you at any moment. I appreciate that I am able to be here for my last season and go out there and play in front of the fans for the last time.”