FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas' on-campus bowl practices have given coaches an opportunity to take a long look at some of the Razorbacks' younger players.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas’ on-campus bowl practices have given coaches an opportunity to take a long look at some of the Razorbacks’ younger players.
One of them making an impression, apparently, is quarterback Brandon Allen.
The former Fayetteville High star spent the 2011 season behind Tyler Wilson and Brandon Mitchell on the depth chart. But Allen said he made the most of the redshirt season and has gotten a chance to show how much of Bobby Petrino’s offense he has learned.
“You can see he’s a coach’s kid that has been around the game his whole life,” Arkansas offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Paul Petrino said of Allen, whose father is cornerbacks coach Bobby Allen.
“He has a good feel and anticipation of when to get rid of the ball. He throws a real nice, catchable ball. He has a chance to have a real good career here.”
Allen said it wasn’t easy sitting out the season, but was ready for it.
He helped the Razorbacks prepare for games with the scout team, traveled with the team on the road and soaked up as much as possible. He also spent plenty of time working on his skills as a passer.
The experiences, Allen said, were valuable for his development.
“I was able to get familiar with the offense and really just took a big stride in that and being comfortable running the offense,” Allen said of the season.
Arkansas’ practices have been closed to the public, but the coaching staff has kept younger players on the field longer than veterans for some scrimmage work and extra tutoring. Petrino said Allen’s growth has been evident on the practice field.
“He’s really exciting to watch,” Bobby Petrino said. “Just his quick release, his accuracy. He’s really intelligent. He picks things up quick. Obviously he has to get his feet in better position at times and get his left shoulder in the correct position at times, but he’s got a quick release and he’s really accurate. It’s fun to have him out there and see what he can do.”
Allen said he has enjoyed the opportunity during Arkansas’ bowl practices, but insists it’s just the beginning. He wants to impress again when the Razorbacks practice this spring and during preseason camp in August.
“I got a redshirt this year, so I’m going to come back next year and just compete for jobs,” Allen said. “That’s what I’m after.”
The Razorbacks will practice on campus for the final time today, wrapping up the Arkansas portion of its preparation for Kansas State and the Cotton Bowl.
Arkansas will hold a team breakfast in Fayetteville on Saturday morning, then board buses for Texas. The Razorbacks are scheduled to arrive at the team hotel at 1:30 p.m. and will hold their first practice in Cowboys Stadium on Sunday morning.