Iowa State and Iowa offered Arnaud shortly after his sophomore season. Ames head coach Bruce Vertanen says both programs liked a number of things about Arnaud, including his frame, arm strength, and family ties.
"The reason that it happened fairly quickly in-state is because they put two and two together," Vertanen said. "He had a pretty good sophomore year and showed flashes of brilliance. He also has a name. His dad was a very good athlete out of Sioux City in the mid-70s, started for Donnie Duncan at Iowa State, and was a 7-foot high jumper. He was remembered as one of the better prep athletes to come out of Sioux City. So Austen has some name recognition and pretty good genes.
"Austen has a very strong lower body. The first thing you notice is that his size is well beyond his years. He's a big, strong kid with good arm strength. I could see him being able to stand in the pocket and throw well on the run."
Arnaud's ties to the Cyclone football program may make it tough for him to leave Ames after next year, but his high school coach says the high schooler has been very open thus far.
"Right now you'd have to say that Iowa State has an inside track, because he lives here and his dad went here," Vertanen said.'But I've been impressed with the fact Austen has looked at every opportunity that's come with an open mind. He's been respectful to everyone he's met."
But the interest does not stop there.
"We're getting a lot of contact, but it's quite scattered," said Ames head coach Bruce Vertanen. "Michigan did visit and came here to speak with me. Virginia has gone beyond just sending letters and requested tape."
Arnaud threw for 1,251 yards and nine touchdowns and added 204 and five on the ground. He'll look to continue those numbers as a senior.
A lot of Arnaud's summer regimen is yet to be determined. He's considering whether to play another sport this summer, or spend more time sharpening his football skills.
"He has been a baseball player and a good one," Vertanen said. "He's going to make a decision on whether he's going out for that. That will effect what his summer plans are. If he does, he'll just continue to work in the weight room and get away to a couple of camps like he did last year when he went to Iowa State and Iowa."