Fayetteville quarterback and Arkansas commitment Austin Allen has a couple of things to concentrate on this weekend while in Little Rock.
He wants to lead the Purple Bulldogs to a win in the annual Shootout of the South 7-on-7 Tournament and also try to convince Pulaski Academy tight end Hunter Henry (6-6, 230) to be his teammate in college.
"I need to talk to him in a little bit and try to get him on the team here," Allen said.
Henry, Allen and fellow fellow Fayetteville High stars and Razorback pledges Alex Brignoni and Brooks Ellis headline the college prospects that will be on hand for the 24-team event.
It gets started Friday morning with pool play at the Mighty Bluebird soccer fields with the championship slated for late Saturday afternoon.
"PA is there, Allen, Texas is there and we just want to go down there and compete with the best of them and show that we are still one of the top teams in the state and try to win," Allen said.
Taking over for his brother and current Razorback signal caller Brandon Allen, Austin threw for a Class 7A state record 4,150 yards and tied his brother's school record of 46 touchdowns in a single season.
He credits former Fayetteville High and Arkansas quarterback Zak Clark – now the Purple Bulldogs' offensive coordinator – with helping him develop.
"Coach Clark last year taught me a lot last year, getting drops and making sure my feet are where my eyes need to be, a quick release, reading the safeties and making a good decision,' Allen said.
Fayetteville won the Class 7A state title last season, but the Purple Bulldogs lost some talented wideouts that helped them to the championship.
"I just want to get timing with our wide receivers," Allen said. "We have a whole bunch of new wide receivers and I want to see where we are at there and just run our playbook and have them get to know the plays."
Allen went through the Razorback camp this week and got to see 2014 Arkansas quarterback commit Rafe Peavey of Bolivar (MO).
"He is great, a good guy and throws a great ball," Allen said. "He looks strong and I heard he is fast. He has all the tools and the mechanics to be great."
Other Arkansas schools participating in the Shootout include Harrison, Greebrier, Russellville, Warren, Little Rock Central, Lake Hamilton, Nashville, Central Arkansas Christian, Bryant, El Dorado, Mayflower and Watson Chapel.
Allen is the lone Texas team while Oklahoma is represented by Norman, Alton, Heritage Hall and Stigler.
Pulaski Academy and Lake Hamilton will also field teams.
The top four finishers will qualify for the 7-on-7 national championship July 20-22 in Washington, D.C.
Pulaski Academy is the two-time defending Shootout champ and also won inaugural national championship in 2011.
"We take things seriously and just try to get better every day," Pulaski Academy head coach Kevin Kelly said. "We have had some very talented kids who love to win."
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