Beau Allen was born to be a Kentucky Wildcat quarterback. The son of a former UK signal caller from eastern Kentucky (Bill Allen), the Lexington Catholic superstar could play himself in a movie based on gridiron in the Commonwealth. He credits a large portion of his decision to stay in Lexington to the relationships he had with the coaching staff. When asked what it’s like to play for his home state school, Allen answered, “I’ve never wanted to play more for a group of people in my life.” Earlier he described what it feels like to be a college quarterback as, “A little surreal for sure, I’ve always been a fan my whole life. To be here today is a blessing.” Beau Allen stayed home. Beau Allen is home.
Kentucky added a transfer quarterback in Joey Gatewood prior to Allen officially inking with Mark Stoops and company. Competition at his position comes with the territory. Beau actually favored the move, saying “I was all for it.” However, Gatewood and Allen have differing styles. The Auburn transfer is more known for his dual-threat abilities while Allen is considered more of a pocket passer. “I’d rather throw than run,” Allen said with a grin. Don’t be fooled by his freshman self-effacement; Beau Allen is a winner that can and will run the football when necessary.
“Student part comes first.” Allen has officially been on campus for less than a month yet he’s already saying all the right things that comes with being the future leader of football program. During Wednesday’s interview, Beau consistently used words like “We” and Us” when describing the program prior to his arrival. Remember, little things matter. However, like all rookies regardless of position, the speed of the game has been the biggest adjustment that he’s faced. He’ll adjust in time.
What does all this mean?
I can relate. Beau Allen has been groomed to be the QB of the University of Kentucky football program for the entirety of his life. He’s a lifelong Wildcat fan. For me, there was a time during the initial portion of my career that I was star struck from interacting with players that I’d watched play from the stands or on television. I felt as if I should be asking for an autograph instead of calling plays in a huddle of giants. I’d heard Cawood Ledford say, “Andy Murray on the carry” and there I was handing the football off to Andy Murray. It’s almost like a third-person view or a dream. I’d stare in the mirror while wearing official UK gear. That always brought on an Appalachian smile. Pretty cool stuff, but it wears off with time.
Back to Beau, and let’s get this straight: Allen is an alpha-dog on the football field and known for his relentless work ethic. He won’t back down from competition and understands the nuances of college football. More importantly, Allen comprehends on- and off-field leadership and the importance of being a teammate.
Allen will get significant reps during spring practice with Terry Wilson recovering from knee surgery. I fully expect him to impress. But, like all first year quarterbacks, there will be growing pains. Comes with the territory. However, having him on campus now could prove to be an invaluable advantage as the Cats move into the 2020 season that is becoming jam-packed with expectation.