Stepping Up

Fayetteville sophomore quarterback Brandon Allen, son of Razorback assistant Bobby Allen, is one of the top prospects competing this weekend in the McDonald's Select 7-on-7 Tournament on the University of Arkansas campus.

FAYETTEVILLE - Brandon Allen doesn't dwell on the fact he's only a sophomore.

He doesn't worry about being a young leader this fall for the Fayetteville Bulldogs, and he also doesn't mind the mounting expectations surrounding himself.

In Allen's mind, it's all part of the responsibility of being a starting quarterback, something he's been wanting to do since he began playing the sport.

"Since I was a kid, this is the position I've wanted to be in," said Allen, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 180 pounds. "I don't mind all that stuff because it's something I've been gearing myself up for. Yeah, I'm a sophomore, but it doesn't mean I can't do good things for this football team. I feel like I can."

As the quarterback for Woodland Junior High last year, Allen led the Cowboys to an 8-0 record before breaking his collarbone late in the season.

Since then, he's worked to rehabilitate himself and get back in shape.

"He had a great spring and he's continued to work really hard," Fayetteville coach Daryl Patton said. "We feel really good about Brandon. The other guys on the team are already looking up to him. He's going to be a great quarterback."

Some of the things helping Allen get ready for his varsity debut in August is summer team camps and 7-on-7 football, Patton said.

On Friday, Fayetteville participated in the VYPE Select 7-on-7 National Tournament at the University of Arkansas, where it played against five teams.

In Fayetteville's first game against Siloam Springs, Allen completed 11-of-14 passes for three touchdowns, guiding the Bulldogs to a 28-10 victory.

"This kind of passing drill stuff is going to help him tremendously," Patton said. "This is the kind of stuff he needs. He needs to be able to recognize defenses and know which receivers to pass to. He's been doing a great job."

Allen said the biggest adjustment he's gearing up for this fall is the speed of the game, something he's never experienced.

"It's going to be tough at first, there's no doubt about it," Allen said. "But once I get a handle on it, I'm hoping the speed will just come naturally to me.

"Whatever happens, I just want to help this team win every game."

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