All eight of Arkansas’ official visitors this weekend are committed to the Razorbacks, but there is only one of those who has never stepped foot on campus.
That would be former Jacksonville, Fla., University Christian offensive lineman Josh Allen (6-3, 305), who was won over by Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman.
“Mostly it was Coach Pittman and the Razorback fans,” Allen said. “Once Coach Pittman came down I saw his personality, his love for the game, his love for the players and his love for Arkansas.
“He is old school and I like old school people because I can relate to them more than I could a younger coach,” Allen added. “Younger coaches are fine, too, but he is just a great guy and Razorback fans are like something I have never seen before. I think that is pretty awesome.
“…It just seems awesome and seems like a place I am going to really like,” continued Allen, who is looked upon as a guard by Arkansas.
Allen joins Dumas tight end Will Gragg, the Fayetteville duo of tight end C.J. O’Grady and defender Dre Greenlaw, Fort Smith Northside defensive end Daytrieon Dean, Highland wide receiver Deon Stewart, Conway offensive lineman Colton Jackson and Dallas Bishop Lynch tailback Rawleigh Williams as prospects scheduled to be in Fayetteville this weekend.
Allen had over 20 scholarship offers and originally signed with North Carolina out of high school, but was not admitted by the school’s under siege admissions office while under an NCAA microscope.
That allow him the ability to go elsewhere without restrictions and he chose Arkansas without even taking a trip to campus.
"Some doors open and some doors close and I feel like this is a blessing so I am very excited about that and just blessed for that opportunity," Allen said. "I am going to do everything they tell me and just come and train hard."
He had a home visit with Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema and Pittman a week ago and a visit with Pittman again this week.
“It was awesome to tell you the truth,” Allen said. “It means a lot when the head coach goes out of his way to come see you and shows that passion and respect for players.”
“I ask some questions like what is the expectations once I get there is January, about the dorms and what is there, the classes and how we go about things during the days of the week,” Allen added.
“I tell you what, he (Bielema) is a good guy,” Allen continued. “Same as Coach Pittman. It was really, really nice and I respect them and look up to them for that.”
Allen says he gets his respectful nature from his parents.
“They are easy going and very good people,” Allen said. “They are very old school. My mom is like 64 and my dad is like 65 so they are going to be old school.
“They just taught me right and taught me how to present myself, my manners and respect,” Allen added. “What you see is what you get. I am a respectful young man…I got it from them.”
Allen said he tries to surround himself with good people.
“I think it is best to surround yourself with great people,” Allen said. “So they will push you to do more in life, accomplish more in life, so you will want to get out and do something yourself and the people around you and your community and the world.”
Allen says he will be hosted by Razorback offensive linemen Denver Kirkland (Friday) and Dan Skipper (Saturday).
“I’m very excited about that,” Allen said.
Allen says he takes great pride in being an offensive lineman for a couple of reasons.
“Most of the time we get to eat first and as much as we want,” Allen said. “Honestly, I would probably have to say pulling and getting up field. It is just the greatest feeling. I can’t explain it. It’s just a good rush and you have a running back behind you and you are leading him to the end zone.
“That is responsibility and leading your team and the running back or whoever is following you and is counting on you - I just love that,” Allen said.
He has spent this fall watching Arkansas play on TV and looking forward to joining the roster.
“Most of the time I am cool and calm, but if there is a bad call I get upset and say ‘what are you thinking?’ and get upset at the official,” Allen said. “But mostly I am a cool and calm type of guy when I am watching Arkansas play.”
He did have a favorite Razorback win this season - the 30-0 home blowout of then No. 8 Ole Miss.
“I would provably say Arkansas and Ole Miss because of my buddy Marquise Haynes - No. 27,” Allen said. “We went to school together and he went to Ole Miss. It was kind of cool to see him get his butt whupped.
“…That was probably their best game of the year and they played very, very, very good,” Allen added. “I was proud of Arkansas for that.”
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