With two of the nation's top quarterbacks sitting in its backyard, the University of Arkansas was sure to offer at least one. Wednesday they offered both.
Fayetteville's Brandon Allen and Shiloh Christian's Kiehl Frazier each picked up scholarship offers from the Razorbacks, beginning what is sure to be an exciting and high profile two-year process for the duo.
"Arkansas is my first choice and to be offered by them is good news for me," Allen said. "It was actually kind of a shock at first, but it's pretty cool.
"Kiehl is a good quarterback and is definitely a deserving quarterback. He's one of my good friends and we talk all the time. He provides good competition."
Like most Arkansans, Frazier is a lifelong Razorback supporter and said that made the offer all the more meaningful.
"Growing up an Arkansas fan, getting an offer from them has to put them up there at the top of my list," Frazier said. "I'm excited for Brandon, too. He's a great quarterback and he really deserves it. If we both go to Arkansas nobody will be talking about me against him; it'll be fun to be on the same team.
"With his dad being a coach there and me growing up here there's a possibility we could both go there."
For Allen – the son of Arkansas defensive line coach Bobby Allen – the Razorbacks represented his first offer despite more than 20 schools the likes of USC, LSU and Alabama showing interest. The Fayetteville quarterback set numerous 7A-West sophomore records last year, passing for 3,270 yards and 30 touchdowns.
While the accolades were nice, it was the quarterback's 18 interceptions last season that fueled him to improve over the off-season.
"My personal goal is to lower the interceptions," Allen said. "Some of that could be me trying to stick the ball into some tight places that I probably shouldn't be throwing the ball. They get tipped and intercepted, and there's nothing I can do about that, but good decision making and making the throws I know I can make will help."
Meanwhile, Frazier added the Arkansas offer to previous ones from Auburn, Tulsa and Western Michigan after splitting time at quarterback last season en route to helping Shiloh Christian to a Class 4A state championship.
Frazier passed for 1,437 yards and 17 touchdowns and added 990 yards and 15 more scores on the ground as a sophomore, but will be called on to be the leader this season after the Saints' other quarterback David Matthews decided to leave the team earlier in week to focus on other sports. Frazier said that won't change his mindset entering the season.
"I've got to take that as it goes," Frazier said. "David was great and it was a shock to us that he quit but we're still going to go out there and do the same thing that we were doing before.
"I have the same mindset. I'll just go in and do my best. I'll probably do some extra conditioning this year since I'll be playing more, but other than that things are pretty much the same."
Frazier's offer came after a magnificent summer that turned a lot of heads. It started by leading his team to the Southwest Elite 7-on-7 championship, included a win at the Arkansas Top Gun QB1 Challenge in Springdale and a strong showing four days later along with Allen at the Bobby Petrino one-day camp at the University of Arkansas.
"I've been getting better and better since last year," said Frazier, who added more than 15 pounds of muscle since the end of last season.
"Last year coming in as a sophomore I didn't do that well in the summer. So this summer has been getting used to the system and perfecting it more."
Both are part of a talented group of athletes within 15 miles of the Arkansas campus in the class of 2011. Among the others are Fayetteville receiver and Arkansas commit Demetrius Dean, Springdale Har-Ber offensive lineman Brey Cook and Frazier's teammate, defensive tackle Samuel Harvill.
Cook has offers from Oklahoma, Auburn and Tulsa, while Harvill has collected offers from Auburn and UNLV.
"The 2011 class is maybe one of the best ever in Arkansas," Frazier said. "Northwest Arkansas is loaded with those guys and even guys like Wesleigh Foster at Clarksville, so it's fun to be in a class of that caliber."
The duo's paths have crossed several times this summer. Shiloh Christian beat Fayetteville in the championship game of the Southwest Elite 7-on-7 before the Bulldogs returned the favor on the final play of their contest at the VYPE 7-on-7 tournament a few weeks later. The two will meet up next on Aug. 24 when Shiloh Christian hosts Fayetteville in what is likely to be the state's most entertaining scrimmage of the preseason.
"After they beat us in the 7-on-7 we want to get back at them," Frazier said. "It's always fun when you're playing Fayetteville because it's always going to be intense with a lot of emotion. Last year they kind of took it to us so we'd like to redeem ourselves from that."
"There's a lot of talk about how good Shiloh is and they have all the great players," Allen said. "We'd like to go out there and beat them, and that way we could have the best of them."
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