Arkansas junior Austin Allen did nothing to jeopardize his status as starting quarterback during Arkansas’ annual spring game.
Allen completed 13-of-19 passes during the scrimmage and led the White team on a few scoring drives during the White team’s 39-21 victory. It could have been a better day, but some of those thing were out of Allen’s control. Coach Bret Bielema seemed satisfied with Allen’s performance.
“I thought Austin did some good things,” Bielema said, according to The Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “He had some miscues in the first half that weren’t his. He had a dropped pass by Dominique Reed, he had Keon (Hatcher) drop the easy touchdown on the sideline sweep over there. He had a couple guys break down in protection which allowed some pressure on him.”
Allen will take the reins from his graduated brother, Brandon, and might have shown off even more natural talent than one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in school history.
Austin Allen's raw ability is so much greater than Brandon's was at the same age.
— Eric Bolin (@ericwbolin) April 23, 2016
One major question regarding Allen is how he will develop into a leader during his first year at the helm. Bielema didn’t seem too concerned about his new quarterback’s leadership traits.
“I think the guys on the team, they really respond to him — O(ffensive)-line, wide receivers, tight ends — they have a certain amount of trust and faith in him,” Bielema said. “Even the coaches by the calls that they can make and the plays that they can call.”
Part of the reason Allen won the starting job during the spring was his swagger. Even as a first-year starter, Bielema said Allen doesn’t have any issues with confidence or motivation, and that’s why he has been a natural leader.
“I think a lot of it is the personality,” Bielema said. “It’s things that I saw even three years ago when he first came in. The first conversation I ever had with him when I sat down face-to-face. He’s a confident kid, he carries himself well. He’s not cocky, he’s confident — I think there’s a big difference. He’s a very self-motivated player. You don’t have to get on him a lot to get your point across.”
Allen has checked all the boxes during the spring. The question will be whether Allen can translate that into the fall and build off of his brother’s legacy.