If you didn’t know Iowa State receiver Jarvis West very well before last week, every fan knows him now. The electric senior scored three touchdowns in three different ways as the Cyclones piled it on Kansas State in the first half. Now he accepts his role as the leader after the team’s top receiver went down.
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West clearly understood his role on the team while being interviewed by the media earlier this week. While the loss of Quenton Bundrage was a hard pill to swallow, there’s enough talent that can step up to overcome his loss. West believes this is his time to step up as a leader.
“That was a real big loss for us, but we have guys all over,” West said. “We have Dondre Daley. He’s stepped up in his part. Allen Lazard — you know what kind of guy he is. He’s stepped up. And obviously me, I’m more of a leader getting those guys going.”
He certainly had taken the leadership role and capitalized on it. The receiver caught a touchdown, ran back a touchdown on a punt return, and threw for a touchdown, giving Lazard the first TD of his career. All of it helped land West on the Paul Hornung Award watch list and gave him special teams honors for the week.
While all those plays electrified, there’s nothing more exciting than the good old-fashioned punt return for a touchdown. How does West do it?
Dec 31, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Jarvis West (1) advances the ball after receiving a kickoff against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the Liberty Bowl at Liberty Bowl Stadium. Tulsa won 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
“Just catching it first,” West said. “Obviously reading my blocks and going down the field.”
Last year, West took it to the house in a long kickoff return against Texas Tech. He’s always shown signs of exploding to the endzone on his returns, and he’s definitely the smartest guy that’s doing it for the Cyclones.
“Maybe 85 percent of it [is improvising],” West said. “I have to make a good judgement on the ball and making sure everybody has their blocks.”
West had just 105 total receiving yards on 15 catches last year. He’s already at 90 yards on 11 catches after the first two games and currently tied with Lazard — though the true freshman has benefited from two long catching plays.
Everybody that’s followed West throughout his career knew the potential he had. Offensive coordinator Mark Mangino must have seen it from day one. The relationship could result in a budding star for the Cyclones in multiple phases of the game.
Quote source from The Des Moines Register video