Kyle Allen is latest Arizona prep QB to turn vagabond

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                </div>  The announcement last week that Kyle Allen is leaving Texas A&M to transfer to another school is yet another reminder of the problem Arizona’s top high school quarterback prospects […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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The announcement last week that Kyle Allen is leaving Texas A&M to transfer to another school is yet another reminder of the problem Arizona’s top high school quarterback prospects seem to be having in making the right college choice.

And each course change means a year of sitting on the sidelines to meet NCAA transfer rules.

Allen, who graduated two years ago from Scottsdale’s Desert Mountain High School, was the top-ranked player from Arizona in his recruiting class and the No. 1 pro-style quarterback prospect in the country.

Just last summer we were reading about Connor Brewer‘s decision to leave the Northern Arizona University program just a couple of months after arriving in Flagstaff.  But that was just the most recent stop on his journey through college football programs.

Brewer, one of the most celebrated quarterbacks in Arizona prep history after leading Chaparral High School to three straight state titles, had already worked his way through two other programs.  The 6’2″ athlete with a rocket arm committed to the Texas Longhorns coming out of high school and then transferred to University of Arizona after sitting out a redshirt season at Texas.  He spent two more years in Tucson, sitting out the first season to satisfy NCAA transfer requirements and then watched from the sidelines the second year as a back-up behind Anu Solomon.

So he transferred to NAU, an FCS program where he could have challenged for the starting job this season.

But an opportunity popped up to play for the Virginia Cavaliers, so he packed his bags once more.  He would have seen a lot more playing time with the Lumberjacks; at Virginia, he saw very limited action behind Matt Johns, who got the starting role this season and compiled nearly 3,000 yards passing.

To add insult to injury, the Cavaliers finished 4-8, the Lumberjacks 7-4.

For Brewer, it was a matter of finding a home where he could earn a starting role.  But Allen had already achieved that objective.  He was the starter on a team that was bowl-bound and would return enough talent to be able to compete for next season’s college playoffs for the national title.

To say that his sudden announcement last Thursday shocked the Aggies program and its fan base would be an understatement.  His departure leaves the team with either a freshman or a sophomore QB to get ready over the next two weeks to take on Louisville in the Music Bowl.

It might not have been so surprising if Allen had announced he would be leaving after the season. It was common knowledge that he wasn’t happy about losing his starting role for three games early in the season after losing back-to-back games to Alabama (in which he threw three interceptions) and Ole Miss.  He was replaced by a true freshman.

He got his job back for the final two games of the season, leading the Aggies to a win over Vanderbilt, but lost the season finale to LSU.

The youngster is going to have a cloud hanging over him as he looks for a new school.  Leaving the Aggies, which finished the regular season 8-4, hanging just before a bowl game, combined with the fact that no reason has been given for his departure, will leave recruiters with some apprehension about taking on a player with questionable baggage.

But his proven potential will be too much to pass up.  Despite losing playing time to Kyler Murray, he still threw for 2,210 yards, with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions.  A drop-back QB who is able to extend play with his feet, he also ran the ball 65 times to add another 102 yards and two TDs.  He was 9-5 in 14 career starts over two seasons at College Station.

At Desert Mountain, he passed for an incredible 8,201 yards and 88 touchdowns in three seasons.  And that resulted in scholarship offers from half the Pac-12 teams, as well as such high-profile programs as Notre Dame, Alabama, and Ohio State.  Both Arizona State and University of Arizona were on his list of suitors before he picked the Aggies.

ASU head coach Todd Graham no doubt is convinced that Allen made a successful transition to the college game. It was Allen that directed the offense when Texas A&M beat the Sun Devils in the first game on the schedule this season.  The sophomore threw for 198 yards and two touchdowns in the 38-17 Aggies win.

Multiple recruiting services had listed him as the nation’s top-ranked pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2014.

And now there’s another four-star quarterback at an Arizona high school that has announced his choice of colleges.  Ryan Kelley decided not to wait until he starts his senior season in the fall to make the big decision, committing last month to Oregon.

Kelley threw for 2,606 yards and 20 touchdowns, and ran for another 459 yards, as a junior at Basha High School in Chandler.  He has been rated as the No. 6 passer in his class.

But he wasn’t even through with his junior season when he committed to the Ducks, one of a dozen offers from top teams in the country – including Texas A&M, by the way.

Let’s hope he was able to make the right decision, without waiting to see what next year would hold, and that he won’t wind up on that merry-go-round that other prep stars from this state are dealing with now.

(Photo: Aggies Athletics)