FHS Senior Austin Allen
has been named the 2012-13 Gatorade Arkansas Football Player of the Year. Allen is the second Gatorade Arkansas Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Fayetteville High School. Brady Washburn was also selected in 1997.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Allen as Arkansas's best high school football player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award announced in December, Allen joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.), Wes Welker (1999-00, Heritage Hall HS, Okla.), Terrell Suggs (1999-00, Hamilton HS, Ariz.), Anquan Boldin (1998-99, Pahokee HS, Fla.) and Jerome Bettis (1989-90, Mackenzie HS, Mich.).
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior quarterback has led the Bulldogs to a 9-3 record and a berth in the Class 7A state final against Bentonville, scheduled for Nov. 30. Allen passed for 3,395 yards and 29 touchdowns through 12 games, completing 214 of 338 passes while throwing just five interceptions. He has also rushed for nine touchdowns. Allen holds the Class 7A single-season records for yards passing and touchdown passes.
Allen has maintained a 3.52 GPA in the classroom. A devoted member of his church youth group and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics.
"Austin Allen is extremely poised in the pocket, he never seems to get rattled," said Shawn Flanigan, head coach at Rogers High. "He's got great presence, and I haven't seen a throw that he can't make."
Allen has verbally committed to play football on an athletic scholarship at the University of Arkansas beginning in the fall of 2013.