I had the privilege to watch Austen Arnaud on the basketball court Tuesday night and two words came to my head after watching Arnaud on the hardwood. Those words are athlete and leader.
Obviously Arnaud won't be playing
When watching Arnaud during warm-ups, he left me with very good first impressions. The first thing I noticed about his was the strength of his legs. They were massive, especially while comparing them to the other kids on the court. The program had him listed at 6'5, but I would say that is a huge exaggeration. I would have guessed 6'2. Scout has him listed at 6'3. Another thing that impressed me about the future quarterback was the size of his hands. Just by looking at them from courtside they looked massive. I got the chance to actually shake his hand after the game and I can assure you that they are big. That's always a good sign for a quarterback. We don't want him going Alex Smith on us.
Fortunately, being from
While watching the first half of the game, I seriously thought that Arnaud should be recruited as a basketball player. He was a monster on the boards and he single handedly took over the first quarter to give Ames High a nice lead. The thing that impressed me was that he was critically involved in every play on the court. On the offensive side of the ball, he was obviously the go-to guy and he was an animal on defense as well.
At the end of the first quarter, Arnaud was in the bench catching a breather, but he wasn't just doing that. With about 20 seconds left, Arnaud was standing up shouting instructions to his teammates on the court.
That brings me to the second word that describes Arnaud: Leader. It was obvious to me that Arnaud was the leader of that team. He had the charisma that is hard to find in young athletes. When timeouts were called, the team looked to Arnaud for his approval while walking to the bench. Throughout the game, if a teammate made a mistake, Arnaud didn't yell at them, he patted them on the back. That's a great quality to have in a quarterback.
In the second quarter, Arnaud had a wide open look for a dunk. While seeing that a defender was nearing, Arnaud chose to simply lay the ball in and he then drew a foul and got a three point play. That shows maturity. Everybody in the gym knew that Arnaud could dunk, but he didn't need to celebrate it. He chose to take the sure points and played for the team, not himself.
That play showed me something
about Arnaud that I think Meyer might have been lacking slightly in high school.
Arnaud showed me that he is a true
Last but not least, the number one thing that impresses me about Arnaud is the class that this young man possesses. It doesn't matter if I'm talking to him on the phone, watching him play ball or meeting him for the first time after the game, Arnaud acted like a 30 year old grown man and not a senior in high school. While I say that, the fact that he is just a kid is what I liked about him. Watching Arnaud didn't seem like watching a future division one quarterback. He didn't bring attention onto himself by doing anything flashy. He played ball. It seemed like I watching an outstanding high school player that was having fun with his friends.
No matter what Austen Arnaud does
on the field in the future for the Cyclones, I can guarantee you all one thing.
On February 1st when Austen Arnaud signs his letter of intent,
Make sure and check out Cyclone Nation tomorrow for our final story of this series on Arnaud, as Brent Blum will break down what he's seen from the standout quarterback.