Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
THE RECRUITING GUY:
Bolding relieved: Fayetteville all out of Allens
STAFF PHOTO JASON IVESTER -- Fayetteville senior quarterback Austin Allen drops back to pass against Bentonville during the first half on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, at Tiger Stadium in Bentonville.
LITTLE ROCK North Little Rock Coach Brad Bolding saw Arkansas redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Allen while Allen was at Fayetteville and a sideline view of senior quarterback Austin Allen in action during the Charging Wildcats’ heartbreaking, 30-28 loss in Friday’s Class 7A semifinals.
The next day, Bolding spoke with Fayetteville Coach Daryl Patton.
“I told him I’m glad there’s not any more Allen brothers,” Bolding said. “I’ve seen both of them.”
An Arkansas commitment, Austin Allen, 6-2, 218pounds, 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash, completed 19 of 37 passes for 273 yards and 2 touchdowns and threw 1 interception. He also had a 1-yard touchdown run on the Bulldogs’ first possession.
“I think from the standpoint of doing a comparison, both are really good quarterbacks,” Bolding said of the Allens. “But the accuracy and ball placement of Austin is very impressive. He’s the best that I’ve coached against.”
North Little Rock scored a touchdown and converted a two-point conversation to take a 28-27 lead with 32 seconds left, but Fayetteville returned the kickoff to its 42 with 27 seconds remaining. Allen, with no timeouts, completed two consecutive passes in 20 seconds to set up the game winning 38-yard field goal by senior Ryan Starr.
Allen has connected on 211 of 337 passes for 3,503 yards and 29 touchdowns while throwing 5 interceptions going into Saturday’s state title game against Bentonville at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. He also has eight rushing touchdowns.
Bolding, who thinks Brandon is faster and maybe more athletic, said Austin has a stronger arm with better accuracy. He said both are similar to former Greenwood quarterback Tyler Wilson, who was a senior starter for Arkansas this season.
“I went up and spent three days at practices at Greenwood a few years ago during Tyler’s senior year and I watched them play Camden Fairview,” Bolding said. “Brandon is more like Tyler athletically, running and things like that, but just ball placement and ball spin, [Austin’s] the best I’ve seen. I think most importantly is his accuracy. He can put that ball in a tight spot.”
Bolding might be happy there are no more Allens to coach against, but Patton is equally thrilled not to have to face Charging Wildcats running back Altee Tenpenny, an Alabama commitment.
“I’m glad he’s a senior,” Patton said. “He needs to go ahead and move on to the next level. He’s a man among boys. He’s ready. Physically, he’s a strong running back, great lateral quickness and burst.”
Tenpenny, 5-11, 218, 4.32, was held to 48 yards on 20 carries by Fayetteville, but it was his receiving skills, 3 receptions for 56 yards and 2 touchdowns, and ability to make things happen after the catch that frustrated the Bulldogs.
“When he caught that ball the other night on a screen pass and he was sprinting down the sideline, I swore I saw a cape coming from the back,” Patton said. “He looked like Superman. He was flying.”
Tenpenny, who finished the season with 193 carries for 1,379 yards and 21 touchdowns, plans to make official visits to Alabama, Arkansas and Oklahoma State.
“He’s a fantastic player,” Patton said of Tenpenny, who also caught 7 passes for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns, as well as 1 kickoff return for a touchdown. “You give him an inch and he’s going to take it.”
NEXT IN LINE
Brad Bolding said he believes junior Juan Day, a cousin of former Razorbacks running back Cedric Cobbs, is the next Charging Wildcats running back with the ability to play on the major college level.
“I think he’s a SEC running back,” Bolding said. “I think he’s right in there with that caliber of players.”
Day, 6-1, 200, 4.5, rushed 115 times for 930 yards and 13 touchdowns in nine games this season. He has been timed at 4.19 seconds in the pro-shuttle and has recorded a 37-inch vertical jump.
“He’s a different style runner,” Bolding said, comparing Day to Tenpenny. “ Sometimes I think he might have a little bit better vision. Altee is more power. They’re close to being the same, but I think Juan’s vision is second to none. He has great vision. He finds that hole.”
Arkansas assistant coach Tim Horton will visit North Little Rock High School on Wednesday to check on Tenpenny and Day.
E-mail Richard Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports, Pages 17 on 11/27/2012