Iowa State football: Tom Farniok reflects on his career with the Cyclones


Thunderstorms are hitting Central Iowa again today, bringing more severe weather and flash flooding into the Ames area. Perhaps it’s giving Iowa State football center Tom Farniok some flashbacks to when he had to help with the flooding back in August 2000.

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Conveniently, Iowa State’s official athletic page released a feature on Farniok talking about his road to being a senior leader and working with first-year offensive line coach Brandon Blaney.

Farniok told about the days when  he was literally sandbagging it in practice.

"“What I remember mostly about it was how smart the veterans were,” Farniok said.  “They didn’t want to sandbag all day then go through fall camp. They were like, ‘No way. I’m not doing that’. One of them got in his car and left and took a nap because they said if you weren’t here you didn’t have to worry about coming. His excuse was his car was almost out of gas so he had to go home. It was pretty funny. I wish I would have been smart enough to do that. I was a rookie, a big time rookie.”"

Nov 17, 2012; Lawrence, KS, USA; Iowa State Cyclones offensive lineman Tom Farniok (74) on the sidelines against the Kansas Jayhawks in the second half at Memorial Stadium. Iowa State won the game 51-23. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps putting in some extra work during that time was a microcosm to how hard he works today.

The center is considered Iowa State’s leader on offense, and that’s not just at the line. Despite having a knee injury in the first game against Northern Iowa, Farniok fought back on the team and was one of the biggest reasons why the Cyclones had an easy time against Tulsa. He opened up holes for Aaron Wimberly, the running back who made a name for himself in the victory and heads into this season as the team’s leader in that position.

Farniok fought back on the team and was one of the biggest reasons why the Cyclones had an easy time against Tulsa.

Farniok was never fully healthy, and not many people were on the offensive line all season last year. Injuries aren’t all freak accidents though, and they’ll look to avoid them with the new OL coach. He already seems to be winning the unit over, according to Farniok (via

"“It’s awesome having a guy you know will have your back,” Farniok said. “The biggest thing he stresses is that we are in this together. If [he] ever gets mad or anything it’s because [he is] trying to get you better. It’s not a personal attack on you or anything.”"

If anything, having a different lineup in 12 games at least gave the majority of these players starting experience.

Similar to last season, Farniok will be one of the keys on offense that the Cyclones can’t afford to lose. His leadership and being an anchor at the line will make the days much easier for both the quarterback and running back to make decisions.