All indications are that Bundrage will be Richardson’s top target to start 2013.
“We’re a young team, so I know that someone has to step up and be a leader. If we don’t, it’s going to cause problems somewhere,” Bundrage said.
Even though Jarvis West opened camp as a backup to unheralded senior Justin Coleman, he and senior Albert Gary should provide experience to a unit that desperately needs it.
The Cyclones are hoping they’ll prove to be more than just that.
West was tied for third on the Cyclones with 31 catches last season while sharing the kick returner role with Gary, who had 18 receptions a year ago.
Still, both find themselves competing with Coleman for starting spots.
Coleman only transferred to Iowa State after his former school, Nebraska-Omaha, dropped football. After redshirting in 2011 and playing mostly special teams last season, Coleman has unexpectedly emerged as a No. 1 receiver.
“All these different situations you get to in football, he always seems to do the right thing,” Sturdy said of Coleman. “He’s always where he’s supposed to be when he’s supposed to be there. Sometimes he gets there in different ways, but he gets there, and then he catches the ball consistently. Smart guy, smart player.”
The Cyclones have also given extensive looks to a number of redshirt freshmen, with 6-foot-1 Dondre Daley leading the way as camp winds to a close.
But it’ll be quite a while before anyone can tell whether Iowa State’s inexperienced receivers can upgrade the program’s struggling passing game.
“I’m basically sitting here saying Quenton Bundrage is the bell cow and the leader of the whole room — and he’s a redshirt sophomore. So that’s what it is,” Sturdy said.