North Texas Daily

COLUMN: Austin Aune is the leader the Mean Green needs

COLUMN: Austin Aune is the leader the Mean Green needs

COLUMN: Austin Aune is the leader the Mean Green needs
December 09
11:35 2020

North Texas knew Austin Aune had potential from the day he walked on to the football team. The 6-foot-2-inch quarterback from Argyle has had a long journey to becoming the starting quarterback for the Mean Green, but many fans and coaches have faith that he can turn the team’s season around.

Austin Aune was recruited by Texas Christian University in 2012 as a three-star recruit. Coming out of high school, the book on Aune was his arm strength and mobility. As an aspiring baseball player, Aune was one of the best Texas quarterbacks in his class in terms of arm strength. 

He committed to the Horned Frogs on March 4, 2011, but never played a game for them. The once highly-touted recruit was also a standout baseball player for Argyle High School and was drafted by the New York Yankees in the second round of the MLB draft upon arriving at TCU.

Aune spent six seasons in the minor leagues of the MLB before trying his hand at football again. He attempted to walk on at the University of Arkansas in 2018 but was unsuccessful. That’s when North Texas came into the picture.

Aune joined the Mean Green as a walk-on just months after his tenure at Arkansas. After observing Mason Fine for two years, Aune has never been more ready for the starting quarterback role.

The Argyle native made his first career start this season in a loss against the Charlotte 49ers, but he continues to shine with every opportunity he’s gotten. 

So far this season, Aune has posted a quarterback rating of 38.5. He is currently tied for 64th in the NCAA with eight touchdowns and has thrown for 1,348 yards. In his first career college football start, Aune threw for 382 yards and three touchdowns.

While the Mean Green has had an up-and-down season this year at 3-4, the coaching staff should turn towards Aune to lead them through the final stretch of the season. Aune replaced Jason Bean in the second half of last weekend’s contest against UTSA, and will most likely see some action again in this week’s game versus Lousiana Tech.

I personally believe starting Aune for the rest of the season can set North Texas up for a strong finish. Not only does his leadership fit in with the team, but his play style does as well. 

Head coach Seth Littrell has always favored the passing game during his time at North Texas, a play style that Austin Aune can thrive under. The former professional baseball player has a strong arm, and Aune has already displayed what he can do with the deep ball. If the Mean Green continues to let Aune throw the ball and succeed under Littrell’s air-raid system, Aune can be a difference-maker and steal some wins for the team going forward. 

Aune’s ability to find open wide receivers like senior Jaelon Darden is what makes him such an important asset to this struggling North Texas team. I think Aune’s value to the team will increase even more as he continues to develop chemistry with his receivers.

Austin Aune has had quite the journey in the sporting world, but he may have just found the right place here in Denton. The sophomore quarterback is finally part of a team that fits his play style and is giving him a chance to show off his athletic and leadership abilities.

The Mean Green should continue to look to Aune this season to lead them out of what has so far been a losing season.

Featured Illustration by Olivia Varnell

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Milo Mihaltses

Milo Mihaltses

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