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June 3, 2013

Allen as good as it gets for '14 QBs

Scottsdale (Ariz.) QB Kyle Allen would be the best quarterback prospect in the state of Texas if he lived within its borders. There's real dearth of people in the state that can spin the ball this year and he is a pure drop back passer who has a combination of footwork and mechanics that is better than anyone in the state of Texas. That's evidenced by his 72% completion percentage which is just off the charts.

For Allen, everything starts with his footwork. You watch him drop back and he turns to set up quickly and keeps his feet underneath him, even on the move. Most young quarterbacks, especially if they are operating out of the spread, have a tendency to move their feet all over the place and especially outside of the width of their shoulders. Thus, they have a tendency to remain unbalanced in their base which affects their delivery and thus their accuracy. In addition, Allen focuses himself and even on the move is able to set his feet when he throws. Like a pitcher, a quarterback derives his power from driving a pitch off of his legs, a quarterback is able to do the same thing.

His mechanics start with how he holds the ball which is at chest level or a little higher. He doesn't drop his elbow so that his release is not elongated…it's shorter and more compact. When you drop your elbow, the action is longer. When you keep the elbow up, your action is shorter. A shorter action means more velocity and accuracy. His motion is almost effortless looking at times. It's like nothing is going on and the ball still comes out in a hurry.

Because of the preceding, you've got a quarterback who has a varied game. He can drop the ball into a receiver's arms over a defender from 25 yards out on a smash route or he can release the ball quickly and hit someone in stride and give them a chance to gain big yards after the catch. He doesn't have the arm of some of the bigger quarterbacks in the class but he's certainly capable of making long throws down the field and stretching defenses. From a passing standpoint, there's not much he can't do.

He's not a great runner but he is able to move around the pocket and buy time if he has to in order to make his throws. He can also roll out and throw to the sidelines. He's got good vision and find people in man coverage and get them the ball when the matchups are favorable.

Allen is currently ranked as the number one pro style passer in the 2014 class nationally by Rivals.com. That's because he is by far the most polished passer within the 2014 class. A&M quarterback coach Jake Spavital has someone ready to go out of the box in terms of his development and he'll be able to work with Allen on his ability to run A&M's offense, etc. rather than having to break him down from a development standpoint and build him back up all over again. It's the first time that A&M has ever landed the top rated pro style passer in the Rivals rankings as well and it's a tribute to head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff that they were able to pull Allen away not just from West Coast schools but also traditional national powers like Ohio State and Notre Dame.


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