I've done it. You've done it.
"Hey, is that guy still around?"
Even with two fewer teams, it's hard to keep track. Our next series, which we did last year, too, takes a look at two key players for every team in the league who are taking their talents elsewhere, returning to campus, or arriving to try to write a legacy of their own.
So really, this series isn't so much for the fans of the teams in the posts, but more for everyone else. It wouldn't be a bad idea to bookmark these.
Next up: Iowa State
Austen Arnaud, QB
Arnaud was the heart of Iowa State's team as a three-year starter at quarterback. He had an unfortunate end to his career with a knee injury in a late-season loss to Colorado. He played for three different coaches in his career (and three different offenses), which is never easy, but the 6-foot-3, 230-pound powerful runner holds a handful of school records, and helped get the Cyclones into the postseason, where they beat Minnesota in the Insight Bowl in 2009.
Robinson was Arnaud's right-hand man for three seasons, rushing for 2,842 yards and 20 touchdowns during that span, including a 1,000-yard season in 2009 that earned him All-Big 12 honors. Robinson was a big part of Iowa State's resurgence in 2009, and led his coach, Paul Rhoads, to repeatedly say he'd take Robinson over any back in the league. Every time he took the field Robinson did his part to validate his coach's confidence.
Jake Knott and A.J. Klein, LBs
The pair combined for more tackles in 2010 than any other duo in the conference, with 241 stops. They'll both be just juniors in 2011, and have already staked a claim as one of the league's best linebacking duos. Knott, a 6-foot-2, 243-pounder is the Big 12's leading returning tackler, but will be returning from a broken arm suffered during the spring.
Darius Reynolds, WR
Iowa State loses its top two pass-catchers from last year's team, and the Cyclones are hoping Reynolds can be the player to fill the void. He emerged this spring as a big playmaker, and the team will need that to continue to get back to a bowl. Reynolds has shown potential during his career, and was a highly recruited juco prospect. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder is capable of doing everything the Cyclones offense needs from its receivers.
Steele Jantz, QB
Jantz, a juco prospect from California, will be one of the passers up for replacing Arnaud. He's the Cyclones fastest quarterback, and if he wins the job, could be a playmaker to watch. He threw for more than 3,000 yards in 2010 while leading his team to an 11-1 record, and if he can make the transition to Division I, the fun factor in watching the Cyclones offense could skyrocket.
Aaron Horne, WR
Horne is a juco transfer as well, added late to the class, but might come out of nowhere to be one of Iowa State's leading receiver. He caught eight passes for 124 yards and a touchdown in the spring game, and will likely play slot receiver. Most interesting, though, is how the Cyclones discovered him. Horne caught the eye of the Iowa State coaches while they were watching Jantz -- his juco teammate.
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