Austin Allen speak­ing vol­umes as se­nior quar­ter­back

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - THE SECOND PAGE - NATE ALLEN

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.”

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