Austen Arnaud proved to be one of the top performers in the state of Iowa as only a sophmore last fall. He performed so well that he received his first scholarship offer from Iowa State in November, and then this past April, he received a second scholarship from in-state rival, the University of Iowa.
Arnaud was one of several top prospects in the Class of 2006 in attendance at Iowa's open practice this past Sunday. How did his visit go?
"I attended it with my teammate, running back/cornerback Brian Jones, and it went real well," said Arnaud. "Their offensive line is just huge, and they really stress that position. It was good watching their coaches work with the positions, and I watched Coach O'Keefe closely working with the quarterbacks."
What are his current thoughts on the Hawkeyes?
"They really have an experienced coaching staff, and they have great tradition. They have become one of the top programs in the nation year in and year out."
Obviously, Arnaud is surrounded by Cyclones fans being a resident of Ames. What kind of an impression have the home town Cyclones made on him so far?
"I really like their entire coaching staff. Seeing Coach (Todd) Finch come back to work after everything he has gone through with the cancer so just shows me how tough of a guy he is, and how that will relate to his players. Coach (Dan) McCarney is dedicated and is a worker that will not stop until things continue to get better."
Has Arnaud already begun to feel any pressure to stay home?
"I guess you can say that I have sort of received some pressure. Both of my parents went to Iowa State, and my AAU coach, Matt Harris, also played football at Iowa State. Pressure won't affect me, though, as I have to make the best decision for myself."
There have not been many evaluations of Arnaud in the early stages of his recruitment, so I asked him to describe himself as a quarterback.
"I think I have pretty good speed for my size and have a good arm. The things I have to keep working on is my footwork and fakes. I know I have plenty of time to continue to get better, though."
Any chance Arnaud will make a decision before his senior season?
"I think there is a chance I could make a decision around this time next summer, but I won't make a decision until then. I'm going to go out and play this fall, and see what happens."