Fayetteville High School senior Austin Allen has been named the 2012-13 Gatorade Arkansas Football Player of the Year.
Allen is only the second Gatorade Arkansas Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Fayetteville High School, and the first since Brady Washburn won the award in 1997.
The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement, and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. It also distinguishes Allen as Arkansas’s best high school football player.
Allen is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award, set to be announced in December. He joins an elite group 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 led the Bulldogs to a 10-3 record, and a Class 7A State Championship. 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, and holds Class 7A single-season records for yards passing and touchdown passes.
Allen has excelled in the classroom as well, maintaining a 3.52 GPA. He is a devoted member of his church youth group and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics.
He joins recent Gatorade Arkansas Football Players of the Year Fredi Knighten (2011-12, Pulaski Academy), Kiehl Frazier (2010-11, Shiloh Christian School), Michael Dyer (2009-10, 2008-09, Little Rock Christian Academy), and De’Anthony Curtis (2007-08, Camden Fairview) among the state’s list of former award winners.
Allen has verbally committed to play football on an athletic scholarship at the University of Arkansas beginning in the fall of 2013.