Austin Allen speaking volumes as senior quarterback
FAYETTEVILLE — They say action speaks louder than words, but usually it takes words to initiate action.
On that score, senior starting Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Austin Allen speaks volumes he didn’t entirely speak this time last year.
Fayetteville native and already University of Arkansas, Fayetteville graduate Allen embarks on his fifth Razorbacks season. However, it’s only Allen’s second as a starter. Allen redshirted as a 2013 freshman and in 2014 and 2015 was the backup quarterback to his brother, Brandon, now into his second NFL season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Austin’s more comfortable,” Arkansas third-year offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Dan Enos said.
“Last year I sensed he was comfortable but maybe afraid to say things at certain times where now he’s not afraid,” Enos said.
“He’s more comfortable on the field going to a guy and saying, ‘Hey, we need you to take two more steps before you make your cut.’”
Allen authoritatively addressed the Razorbacks’ offense during Saturday’s scrimmage, Enos said.
Sometimes, Enos said with smiling approval, the quarterback might show an edge addressing his quarterbacks’ coach even while raised to be so polite by his parents, Bobby Allen, the Razorbacks director of high school relations and former defensive coach, and Marcela Allen.
“I get on him coaching him hard,” Enos said. “And he’s been barking at me a little bit, and that’s been fun for me. He’s more confident and more relaxed. It’s all good.”
THE CATFISH THAT HOOKED HOGS
Arkansas coaches past and present mourn Saturday’s passing of Pat Gazzola after a spate of medical setbacks.
Pat and his wife, Janie, literally fed into Razorbacks football recruiting. Their Catfish Hole Restaurant in Fayetteville has been a recruiting weekend dinner stop since the Houston Nutt era through former coaches Bobby Petrino and John L. Smith and for all the recruiting weekends that Coach Bret Bielema has conducted since his December 2012 Fayetteville arrival.
Pat involved the Catfish Hole in helping other Razorbacks sports, too. The Catfish Hole is among the constant Razorbacks radio network sponsors for football, basketball and baseball and from Petrino through Bielema the perpetual site for the football coaches’ statewide in-season radio show.
Pat wasn’t on the air himself but off air likely devoted more time discussing Razorbacks than all of Arkansas’ sports talk radio hosts combined.
“Lost a great friend and a Razorback legend today,” Bielema posted Saturday night on Twitter. “He was always smiling and called the Hogs better than anyone. #RIP.”
Nutt recently came through Fayetteville specifically to visit Pat, retired Razorbacks Athletic Director Frank Broyles and retired real estate magnate and former Razorbacks great Jim Lindsey.
“Pat was such an avid supporter and more than that a good friend,” Nutt said Sunday.
“I can’t say enough for all he did on those Friday nights. The food was always so good, and he and Janie had that special touch of getting really engaged talking with the recruits and their parents.
“Even after a tough loss they were always there, always supportive.”