SPRINGDALE - Fayetteville quarterback Austin Allen's comfort throwing the ball is back on track.
A few months ago, before Allen committed to the Razorbacks, he participated in the Elite 11 camp in Dallas and said his accuracy had been "down." As he has competed in the Southwest Elite and prepares for the Elite 11 finals in Redondo Beach, Calif., however, the Fayetteville signal caller is comfortable again.
Allen lead the Bulldogs to the Southwest Elite championship on Saturday and earned the Most Valuable Player award for the tournament. After losing several receivers from last year's state championship team, he said that working with his young receivers in these 7-on-7 tournaments have been vital for the team's improvement heading into the season.
"All of our receivers are new," Allen said. "We lost basically all of our receivers from last year and this helps us get down the timing, allows them to learn the plays and have a feel for each other and their speed. It does so much for the passing game and it helps the defense work with their coverages.
"I've built some chemistry with Cole Harris and Chad Holmes, some of our senior leader receivers. Jordan Dennis is going to be a junior and he's been great and Tyler Callaway, a sophomore tight end and Blake Powers are going to be good for us, as well."
Fayetteville played Bolivar to begin pool play on Friday and Allen got to get a glimpse at Rafe Peavy and said he has been interacting with the 2014 Arkansas commit quite a bit and is impressed with his demeanor.
"I talked to him a lot today," Allen said. "I also talked to him at the Arkansas football camp. He's a great guy and a great quarterback. He can definitely sling it all over the field.
"I like him and he's a great quarterback, and he's a top-100 overall player for next year's class."
After the Southwest Elite, Allen will head to California to join 24 other quarterbacks to participate in the Elite 11 Finals July 18-22.
"Going against some of the top quarterbacks in the nation like Max Browne and Shane Morris who are the top two in the nation and all of the ESPN coverage is every high school quarterback's dream," Allen said.
After the Elite 11 Finals, the 6-foot-2, 218-pound quarterback said he will be focused on the upcoming season. The Fayetteville Bulldogs will try to repeat as state champions after defeating previously undefeated Bentonville in overtime in last season's state championship game.
"I think we'll be alright," Allen said. "It's going to be a little work in progress, but if we keep working and getting better, we'll have a chance to be back in Little Rock."
Photo by NWA Media.
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