AMES — Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads was watching when President Barack Obama spoke his name in a stump speech Tuesday in Ames.
“I won’t pretend I can give a speech like Coach Rhoads can, but I’m going to try,” Obama reportedly said.
Rhoads — after watching helicopters swoop in from a perch on the east side of Jack Trice Stadium — had just tuned in to a live stream of the event when he heard his name drop.
“Within two minutes, he said it,” said Rhoads, who also briefly reminisced about seeing President Gerald Ford speak at the State Capital while he was in elementary school. “Good research done by his writers. They had him prepared. He didn’t know my name before he said it and forgot it right after he said it. Nonetheless, it’s still pretty cool.”
ISU all-Big 12 linebacker Jake Knott agreed.
“Obviously he’s a very well-informed speaker and really knows how to play to his crowd,” Knott said. “It’s just a cool and neat thing that the President of the United States came here and did that type of thing and mentioned coach Rhoads.”
Cyclone safety Jacques Washington was surprised by the news after Tuesday’s practice.
“I’ve been in here all day,” he said, smiling.
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