t was hard to avoid the criticism that Brandon Allen took in all but about the last seven games of his Arkansas career as the starting quarterback. There was three plus years of hatred that flowed on talk radio, social media and about anywhere Allen turned.
It was something that was talked about at home, according to Bobby Allen, father and former Arkansas coach. Bobby Allen is now in administration at Arkansas as director of high school relations for Bret Bielema's staff.
That was at the crux of what Bo Mattingly and a production team put together the week of spring break as what is now running on YouTube called the Allen Advice. There are interviews with Brandon, Austin and Bobby that includes some time at the driving range at Fayetteville Country Club and inside the practice gym at Arkansas.
Some of the things that became clear is that the Allen boys are ultra competitive. Austin will get a chance to show if he's better at Arkansas. He was named the starting quarterback by Bielema last week. Allen has not met with the media since that announcement, but there's little doubt that he wants to outdo his brother. It's just the way those two have been all of their lives.
There was video of an accuracy competition throwing the football, then more competition on the driving range as everyone tried to hit the caged cart picking up the golf balls some 100 yards away, a moving target.
The theme of the show came true about midway through the almost eight minutes of interviews. The advice Brandon handed down to little brother was funny and simple.
“We've always pushed each other,” Brandon said. “What I told him, don't suck. That should be the motto.”
If you do, the criticism will be intense. Your truck may be egged or burned. There were pictures of both early in the video piece.
How Brandon handled all of that has been a positive with NFL scouts as the draft approaches.
“I've spent time going through that with scouts,” Allen said. “They like that I've gone through that. They like I went through some adversity and came through it.”
Austin remembers watching his brother go through it and wondering what he'd gotten himself into as far as playing quarterback.
“It was a long year for everyone (in our family),” Austin said. “I was a young freshman. I thought, this can't be the way it is. I thought, I don't know if I want this. I know you better not suck.”
The social media blitz was intense. Brandon said he'd laugh at some, but there were obviously some that hurt.
Mattingly played some of the calls he got on his talk radio show. One guy said simply, “It's a fact, Brandon Allen is a loser.”
The tweets were similar and often brutal.
“I saw them,” Austin said. “I'd get tagged in part of those posts. So how I am I part of this?”
Bobby Allen said there were times all of that was discussed at home with the entire family.
“I was proud of how Brandon handled it,” Bobby said. “Not a lot of people would have stayed at the same school. I was the one telling him to stay off of social media. And, you had his sister zapping right back at them.”
When does all of that start for Austin? Or does it? Do the Hogs play well enough that it doesn't happen to the second Allen brother to play quarterback for the Razorbacks?
The way to control that is to play well. He's been good this spring. He may have more weapons than his brother had around him as a young Arkansas quarterback.
As they say, the quarterback gets too much of the credit and too much of the blame. There was seven minutes of interviews on the blame stuff. It was a good video piece and is a perfect reminder that fans can be hurtful and vicious.
It's clear that Austin is prepared for the job. He's a fourth-year junior. He doesn't have a lot of game experience, but he's surely learned some lessons from his older brother. No doubt, he's learned how to take criticism just in case he sucks.