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:
Allens impress at all-star game
Fayetteville quarterback Austin Allen was named Arkansas Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior.
CARSON, Calif. A good week of practice paid off for Fayetteville quarterback Austin Allen at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl when he was named the starting quarterback for the East team.
Allen, 6-2, 210 pounds, 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash,completed a post pattern for 42 yards on the first play from scrimmage that eventually led to a 41-yard field goal as the East defeated the West 17-14 on Friday night.
“It’s an honor coming to an all-star game,” said Allen, an Arkansas oral commitment. “Everyone is good here. All the quarterbacks here are great as you can tell, but being named the starter is huge. It’s kind of a confidence booster right there.”
Allen completed 4 of 8 passes for 57 yards and impressed CBS Sports Network national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming.
“He showed the arm strength that we knew he had,” Lemming said. “Now I think the whole country knows Austin Allen has what it takes to be an SEC quarterback.”
Another Razorbacks recruit, receiver Devon Allen from Phoenix Brophy Prep, scored the first touchdown of the game with a 25-yard reception to put the West ahead 7-3. Allen, 6-1, 190, 4.48, finished with 6 receptions for 67 yards and 1 touchdown.
“He had to be one of the five guys we were talking about the most, and there’s 100 players here in this game,” said Lemming, who worked on the NFL Network broadcast. “He’s a pure speed guy. ... You can tell he has great speed and he’s elusive in the open field.”
Devon Allen, who also is a highly regarded track and field prospect, is trying to decide whether his last official visit will be Arkansas or Arizona State.
“I think he’s an impact guy,” Lemming said. “If he goes toa school like Arkansas, I think he’ll play right away as a true freshman.”
Plantation (Fla.) South running back Alex Collins, 5-11, 210, 4.4, plans to take an official visit to Arkansas on Jan. 25. Collins had three carries for 25 yards for the East team and showed excellent speed and quick feet on a 13-yard run in the first half.
“He’s one of the best players in south Florida,” Lemming said. “He’s explosive, and he creates in the open field. Not real big, but he runs with power and has brilliant speed and vision.”
The Semper Fidelis All-American combine also had an Arkansas flavor.
Rafe Peavey, who has orally committed to Arkansas’ 2014 class, Rogers Heritage quarterback Josh Qualls and Little Rock Central running back Logan Moragne all took part in the combine Thursday.
Peavey, 6-2, 197, 4.5, plays quarterback at Bolivar, Mo., and threw exceptionally well and drew plenty of attention during the combine from numerous media members, including CBS Sports Network’s Tom Lemming, and combine organizer Shaon Berry.
“It was all very, very positive,” said Peavey, who chose Arkansas last summer over scholarship offers from Missouri, Nebraska, UCLA, Boston College, Ole Miss and others. “They said I threw real good and felt I had a great day, but I felt I had an OK day. They said I had nice footwork.”
Qualls, 6-1, 175, 4.59, was one of the top play makers in Arkansas last season and showed that ability at the combine. He said he was nervous at first but soon realized he was the equal to the other top quarterbacks.
“I felt like I was as good as anyone that was here,” Qualls said. “I think I was here for a reason, and I showed I was here for a reason and I competed well.”
Moragne, 5-9, 180, 4.61, had some of the best numbers in the testing session with a 4.10-second time in the pro-shuttle and a 33-inch vertical leap.
“I really enjoyed competing against people from all over the country,” Moragne said. “It was really challenging, but I felt like I performed pretty good. I feel like I’ll be on the radar of colleges now.”
E-mail Richard Davenport at email@example.com
Sports, Pages 25 on 01/06/2013