Iowa State quarterback Joel Lanning (7) celebrates with wide receiver Quenton Bundrage, center, and offensive lineman Jake Campos (67) after Lanning ran the ball for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Kansas State, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Iowa State's success in 2017 seemed to come out of nowhere.
But much of the foundation for the Cyclones' renaissance was laid years ago by a trio of home-grown players who turned down bigger programs to play for former coach Paul Rhoads _ and then stuck it out when Rhoads got canned.
Quarterback/linebacker Joel Lanning, wide receiver Allen Lazard and tackle Jake Campos _ all of whom grew up within a 30-minute drive of Ames in metro Des Moines _ were honored Saturday as part of Iowa State's senior day festivities.
All three became the college players Rhoads envisioned when he recruited them.
Lanning entered Saturday's game ranked ninth nationally in tackles. Lazard set a school record for career receptions, and Campos has been a rock for a line has seen its share of ups and downs over the years.
That trio will play in its first and only bowl game to wrap up this season, and replacing them won't be easy for Campbell and his staff.