The script changed, but Arnaud’s class endures


In Austen Arnaud’s personal game plan, the walk onto the Jack Trice Stadium turf Saturday night would be the beginning of a celebration. For the former Ames High School star, it would his final chance to acknowledge the home crowd.

The game against Missouri, with a second consecutive bowl bid at stake, was Senior Day. I’m sure the script had been written in his mind for several weeks.

Arnaud’s story, however, has taken a turn after a knee injury last week at Colorado. His college playing career has ended prematurely and that is cruel.

Arnaud has been a warrior. He has been bruised and battered many times only to rise again and represent his beloved Cyclones.

Mark Coberley, who has been with the Iowa State football team for 17 years on the medical team, says Arnaud’s ability to handle adversity is his strongest trait.

“He has had more than his share of injuries,” Coberley said, “and yet refused to let any of them affect him. He is one of the top student-athletes we have had here in terms of handling adversity. That’s what will make him successful in whatever he does in the future.”

Although he likely won’t be meeting the media to explain the game’s results Saturday night, Arnaud has done that with poise and dignity many times the last three seasons.

“Austen is one of the most charismatic players we’ve had at Iowa State,” said 25-year publicist Tom Kroeschell. “He always faced the media, win or lose, and did so with class.”

Many people will cite Arnaud’s multiple school records as cherished memories. Those are temporary accolades that may be surpassed in future years.

But, his positive impact on the Cyclone program – confirmed by comments like the ones above from long-time ISU observers such as Coberley and Kroeschell– will last much, much longer. His legacy is one to remember and cherish.

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