Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007. He also hosts Recruiting Thursday each Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. statewide.
Arkansas coaches double team Allen
One of the fastest receiver prospects in the nation, Devon Allen and his father, Louis entertained Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema and track coach Chris Bucknam for an in-home visit Wednesday evening. Allen learned Bielema has a track record of allowing players to be a two-sport athletes.
"He was talking about some of the guys he had at Wisconsin," Devon Allen said. "And how he trained them to be the best they are in their sport right now because he likes to see success. In football, guys running track and he likes to see football guys playing baseball do well in baseball as well. He said they're happier athletes."
Allen, 6-1, 190 pounds, 4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash, of Phoenix Brophy Prep liked what he heard from Bielema about the fan support the Hogs enjoy.
"That's pretty much their pro team," Devon said. "The fans are there every week. It's huge part of why they're successful in everything."
Louis Allen, who's' originally from Columbus, Ohio, felt comfortable with Bielema.
"It was a very good visit, very relaxing," Louis said. "Coach is from the Midwest and I'm originally from the Midwest. We kind of talk the same kind of talk."
Allen recorded laser times of 10.49 seconds in the 100 meters and 20.75 in the 200. He and his father plan to officially visit the Hogs Feb. 1 but may move it up to Jan. 25.
"Everything he was saying makes a lot sense," Devon said of Bielema. "It gives me a good feeling about my decision to take a visit there in the next couple of weeks."
Beilema and Bucknam impressed Louis Allen.
"He liked it a lot," Devon said. "He was impressed and it's hard to impress him."
Several prospects have mentioned talking to Bielema is like speaking to someone they've known their whole lives.
"That's probably the best way to say it," Devon said. "He's so confident and so comfortable being able to talk to you."
The elder Allen saw Bielema's move from Wisconsin to Arkansas as step up in the profession.
"He pretty much said what I thought," Louis said. "Which is he's a coach that's trying to take himself and his staff to another level."
Bielema's desire to get the Razorbacks at the top of the SEC won over Louis.
"I like the comment he made last night about everybody is tired of it just being Alabama," Louis said. "He's going to do everything to make sure that everybody is talking about Arkansas."
The presentation from Bielema and Bucknam was given without talking over one another.
"They were very respectful of each other," Louis said. "They communicated what their thoughts were and communicated on how their thoughts about Devin having a good career at Arkansas doing both."