Fayetteville High head coach Darryl Patton has had some great days as a coach – including last season's 7A state championship.
But it will be tough to top Monday when three of the players who helped lead his team to that title committed to the University of Arkansas.
Quarterback Austin Allen (6-2, 217), linebacker Brooks Ellis (6-3, 215) and safety Alex Brignoni (6-2, 195) all pledged to be Razorbacks.
"I am so very happy for all three of these young men," Patton said. "They are all great football players and great young men. To see them all do it at the same time just makes it such a special day."
Allen – son of Arkansas assistant coach Bobby Allen - and Ellis both got offers back on signing day in February and then Brignoni got his on Saturday.
"I am so very proud of how they have all handle the process," Patton added. "Arkansas is getting three winners."
Those three standouts join a pair of Louisiana prep stars – Denham Springs tailback Kaleb Blanchard (6-1, 215) and Patterson tight end Deondre Skinner (6-4, 230) – to give the Razorbacks five commits in the 2013 class.
Allen stepped in for his brother - current Razorback redshirt freshman Brandon Allen – last season for Fayetteville.
The younger Allen stepped right in and succeeded magnificently right away as he threw for 4,150 yards – stetting a state record for Class 7A.
Allen, a four-star prospect according to Scout.com, also threw for 46 touchdowns with just 11 interceptions and had around 15 offers.
Notre Dame, Tennessee, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Arizona State, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt were among his offers.
"Austin played well this season to say the least and just kept getting better every week," Patton said. "He was such a leader for us. He did everything for us. He did whatever it took to help us keep winning."
Ellis was named the state's top defensive player by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette after a junior season when he had 92 tackles – including 13.5 sacks – as a linebacker.
He had a whopping 130 tackles his first high school season, when he was named the publication's top sophomore.
Ellis, who also had some 15 offers from schools such as Notre Dame, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and North Carolina – as well as Yale and Dartmouth - is on schedule to be a mid-term graduate.
"I don't think there is a better linebacker in the state than Brooks and he is an absolute monster when it comes to getting to the football and making something happen when he arrives," Patton said. "He has great hips and flexibility and gets in and out of his breaks better than any linebacker than you have ever seen. That comes from his old days as a defensive back."
"Brooks is a kid who is going to be able to graduate early and get to Arkansas and go through spring practice (in 2013)," Patton added. "So I expect him to go over, get with it and compete for playing time at as true freshman."
Briginoi's offer from Arkansas on Saturday joined the others he had from Illinois, Arkansas State, Kent State and UCA and interest from LSU, Auburn, North Carolina, Texas and Tulsa.
He led Fayetteville with 130 tackles last season and had an amazing 10 interceptions – two of which he took back for touchdowns.
"I have said this numerous times that Alex is the best athlete that I have ever coached since I have been here and we have had some great ones," Patton said. "He has great speed and is a amazing ball hawk. If it gets anywhere near him, he is going to pick it off. He could be a great wide receiver for us and he will play some there for us.
"I think he may have the most upside of the three," Patton added. "He is going to be a fantastic football player for Arkansas. They all three are going to be."
Arkansas Nabs Fayetteville Trio
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