Arkansas Team News

Bret Bielema expects Austin Allen to take game to ‘another level’

Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports

HOOVER, Ala. — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema joined Frank Frangie and Hays Carlyon on 1010XL Jax Sports Radio Monday at SEC Media Days.

Bielema discussed numerous topics including returning starting quarterback Austin Allen, who took over for his older brother, Brandon, after the elder Allen was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2016 NFL Draft last offseason.

“First-year quarterbacks are first-year quarterbacks,” Bielema said. “I don’t care if they’re freshmen, sophomores, juniors — they have to have that year of experience. Not necessarily even just playing experience, it’s handling all of that other stuff. Preparation, media obligations, from the good and the bad.

“I think Austin now in Year Two as a starter, just on what I witnessed in the spring and what I witnessed in the summer, I really think he’s going to take it to another level.

“He’s so mature, you’ll see today he’s got an SEC grad pin, he’s already graduated and is starting on his Master’s, extremely intelligent and just the whole story. His dad is a football coach, obviously his older brother, there’s a lot of intangibles that make you think something good is going to happen.”

Bielema also discussed Brandon Allen’s value as a serviceable backup quarterback to Jacksonville Jaguars starter Blake Bortles.

“Brandon Allen, as far as football IQ, all the ability that he takes, a coach’s son, he’s everything you want in that regard,” Bielema said. “I guarantee if he gets on the field, he’s going to shock some people. He’s kind of one of those guys that you kind of wait for that moment for him to get his shot and he’ll take full advantage of it.”

Bielema also hit on a number of topics including his expectations for this fall, the birth of his first child just two days before his Media Days appearance and the difference between coaching in the SEC and the Big Ten.

You can listen to Bielema’s full interview with Frangie and Carlyon below:

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