Quenton Bundrage ready for upcoming ISU football season


Kelby Wingert/Iowa State Daily

Redshirt senior Quenton Bundrage pushes through a tackle at the first football practice March 3 at Bergstrom Indoor Football Facility. Bundrage was limited in spring drills after tearing his against North Dakota State on Aug. 30, 2014. 

Luke Manderfeld

When ISU wide receiver Quenton Bundrage had to watch his team play to a 2-10 record last season after being sidelined for the majority of the season with an ACL tear, it hurt him. But he knew he had to use the experience to his advantage.

The now-redshirt senior watched and learned from his team on the field. He observed the team’s mistakes and took the information to help inform his fellow teammates. 

“I wasn’t necessarily a coach, but I was a leader for the team,” Bundrage said. “I would call people out on what they were doing wrong or right and as a group how we need to do better and how the group is helping or not helping the team.”

The ACL tear took away from Bundrage physically, but what it did for him mentally was even stronger. And that mental preparation has improved his skills on the field. 

“[The injury] helped me become mentally stronger because I pushed myself to get my leg back to full strength,” Bundrage said. “I’ve also added a little bit of quickness, and I think all-in-all, the injury was good from a mental standpoint.”

Now 100 percent cleared for football activities, Bundrage is ready to tackle his last season as a Cyclone with a vengeance and with a varied group of receivers around him — veteran and young players.

Sophomore receiver Allen Lazard is one of the standout receivers who will help Bundrage play to the best of his abilities. Lazard, being a true freshman last season, and Bundrage have spent numerous hours in practice refining their skills. They haven’t played on a field together, but that could mean big things for the Cyclones.

With Lazard coming off a freshman season that saw him rise to one of the best receivers on the Cyclones and in the Big 12, it could open things up for Bundrage.

“He’s become very confident and become a leader himself,” Bundrage said. “Both of us on the field together could be great for our team. We complement each other.”

Bundrage and Lazard will play with other talented receivers like redshirt junior D’Vario Montgomery and redshirt junior Dondre Daley.

With offensive coordinator Mark Mangino in his second season on the Cyclones, Bundrage could become a big part of his offense that focuses on getting the ball into the hands of playmakers.

Redshirt senior quarterback Sam Richardson will enter his final season, and Bundrage said the chemistry hasn’t taken a hit with his injury last season. In fact, it’s grown.

“If anything, we’ve gotten a little closer [since Bundrage’s injury],” Bundrage said. “I was able to spend more time in the film room and more time with [Richardson] off the field. He understands my viewpoint from on the sidelines. … We are on the same page more often than before.” 

The upcoming season will see the Cyclones face off against both in-state rivals, Iowa and Northern Iowa, and an always-tough Big 12 schedule, including a game at home against Texas Christian, one of the best teams in the country. 

But Bundrage has his sight set to win.

“We would like to start off 2-0 against [Northern Iowa and Iowa],” Bundrage said. “The first five games aren’t going to be as hard, maybe, as the sixth and seventh game. … The games won’t get any easier. We are just going to attack the schedule as we should and hopefully have a winning season.”

Despite the tough schedule, Bundrage feels ready to go in his last college season.

“Oh yeah, I’m ready, I have to be [ready],” Bundrage said. “I know I have to have a good season, it’s a mind thing.”