–Fayetteville trounced the once-proud Little Rock Central Tigers 31-0 Monday night behind a solid effort from junior QB Brandon Allen, the son of Arkansas assistant coach Bobby Allen. Allen, who has been offered a scholarship by the Razorbacks, had over 200 yards passing and 2 Tds with 1 interception.
It’s easy to see why Allen, (6’3′ 205) is a highly sought after prospect. He possesses a very strong arm and also has suprising mobility for a kid his size. He is adept at play-action fakes (particularly for a HS player) and throws well on the run. Allen seems to have really matured since last year, when the biggest knock on him was his decision-making. He did make one very ill-advised throw in the first quarter, throwing deep down the middle of the field across his body on a play should have resulted in an interception. Instead, a Fayetteville receiver (who did not appear to be the intended target) made a 21-yard catch on 3rd and 3.
–On the other hand, I have to admit I was concerned with what I saw from Demetrius Dean, Fayetteville’s junior wide receiver, who has verbally committed to play for the Hogs. He sports the number 20, and it seems that he may have gained that many pounds since last season. In fact, as my neighbor, Dillon pointed out, it actually looked like he may have stopped at WhataBurger on the way to War Memorial Stadium and loaded up.
He is every bit of the 6’3 245 that he is listed in the program. Unfortunately, though, he seemed to lack much burst and appeared out of shape. He even seemed to struggle to get into position prior to snaps midway through second quarter. I am not trying to disparage the kid–just giving you an honest assessment of what I saw in a very small sample size from a future Razorback. Maybe (hopefully?) he is dealing with an injury and that explains things. He looks like he will be a Tight End/H-Back or Defensive End at the collegiate level.
–Little Rock central LB Blake James (6’1 225), the son of former Razorback great and central Arkansas television lightning rod Bruce James, is what you would expect–a big, strong kid who tackles with a purpose. Although he was drawing reported interest from some high Division I schools, James has committed to play for Georgia State.
James will become part of a very interesting Panther program in its infancy. It was founded a year ago and is leaping right into Division I (FCS) as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. GSU’s head coach is former Alabama and Kentucky head coach (and 1989 National Coach of the Year) Bill Curry. While the school is in Atlanta, and will play its home football games in the Georgia Dome, the football staff has a definite Arkansas flavor, as its coordinators are Natural State natives.
The GSU defensive coordinator is Forrest City, Arkansas native John Thompson, who was the East Carolina head coach in between several stops as a defensive coordinator at high major programs.
The offense is led by Rogers, Arkansas native John Bond, who played at Arkansas and was a grad and student assistant for Lou Holtz and Ken Hatfield. Bond played at Rogers High School and was coached by his legendary father, Gary. He has been a coach for almost a quarter century and his last stop prior to GSU was at Georgia Tech where he held the same position and coached All-ACC RB Tashard Choice, who now plays for the Dallas Cowboys. Also, former Razorback assistant coach George Pugh is the Panthers’ assistant head coach in charge of wide receivers and recruiting.
–There wasn’t much to cheer about for LR Central, which lost its 12th regular season game in a row. The defense looked solid at times, particularly in the front 7, but the offense again appears to be anemic as the Tigers completed just 3 passes for negative yards for the entire game and did not register a 1st down in the first quarter. About the only thing that went well for the Tigers was the performance of its spirit squads. The Central band, the Stereophonic Storm of the Mid-South, didn’t let the game rain on its parade and the Central Hi-Steppers dazzled at halftime and paid tribute to Michael Jackson. Unfortunately, though the game was anything but a Thriller.