When you think of Armwood football players, BCP Player of the Year, Alvin Bailey comes to mind. Leon McQuay III and Darryl Richardson are probably next, with Kyle Gibson and Byron Cowart following. All the preceding players listed (excluding Cowart) are established veterans. McQuay and Bailey with 3 years of starting experience, BCP ranked and national prospects. Richardson and Gibson are promising players with a big bucket of potential. However, there is a player who is expected to make a big splash this upcoming season.
They [teammates] call him “Julio”, as in Julio Jones the current Atlanta Falcon second year receiver drafted in the first round from Alabama. Austin Gallon is a rising junior for the Armwood Hawks who busted on to the BCP recruiting scene with one of the best performances of the whole 2011 June USF Sling and Shoot. Gallon saw limited playing time for the Hawks during their state title run as a sophomore. Playing behind veterans like Alvin Bailey and Jovante Sneed.
There are some similarities, but more differences between Julio and Austin. Julio stands 6-3/220lbs, while Austin is 6-2/178lbs; plenty of room to grow for the young Hawk. Julio Jones is a long striding receiver, able to pull away from defenders effortlessly. Gallon is also a long striding receiving, with good game speed and frame, which we foresee he will be difficult to bring down. Still, Gallon is simply nicknamed “Julio” because of his long dreadlocks. No revealing story or funny connection.
Julio Jones, Sammy Watkins, AJ Jones and Larry Fitzgerald are four of the National Football League’s top receivers and players Austin Gallon says he would like to replicate his game after. Randy Moss was also mentioned as Gallon’s all time favorite player, “He did his thang. I like Deion Sanders and Floyd Mayweather. I like athletes like that.”
Not being a regular contributor last season, Gallon said he learned that he and the Hawks were going to have to go harder and he needed to improve on his weakness. Which he has done so, “I gotta step up to the next level. I improved on my speed, route running and definitely my hands,” said Gallon.
The much needed improvements have not only caught the eye of BCP, but naturally the Armwood coaches. “They told me they are going to need me to step up this year. Last year, Jovante Sneed had the starting spot. But, I just waited my turn for this year.”
A good receiver usually has a good season if he and his quarterback have a good connection. During USF June 2012 Sling and Shoot, Armwood QB, Darryl Richardson and Austin “Julio” Gallon hooked up several times for big plays. The connection was obvious. Both players trusted each other and it was evident that there was some chemistry between the two. How much chemistry I asked Gallon, “We have a very good connection. Timing and all.” Gallon and Richardson also attended Orange Grove Middle School together. “I love that my quarterback is cool and relaxed. Tells me when to breakout faster (route running),” states Gallon.
Gallon admits that Darryl Richardson is a great coach on the field, but Alvin Bailey is the team leader. “He has been there. He leads by example and has played a lot. He is definitely the leader on the team.”
Success and Championships, “sort of” run in the family for Gallon. He is the youngest of three siblings whom all attended Hillsborough County High Schools. Oldest brother, Brandon Gallon attended Jefferson and Carl Gallon is a Blake graduate. Brandon’s uncle is former Leto High and Miami Hurricane legend, Bernard Clark.
Clark himself was a linebacker for the Miami Hurricanes from 1985-89 and played on two national championship teams (’87 and ’89). In the 1988 Orange Bowl against No. 1 Oklahoma, Clark started at middle linebacker and collected 14 tackles, including 12 solo stops, to earn Most Valuable Player honors. The Hurricanes topped the Sooners, 20-14, to cap a 12-0 season and claim the national title (http://www.pittsburghpanthers.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/clarkjr_bernard00.html).
Here is where the “sort of” comes in. Brandon and Austin have different mothers and Bernard Clark is the brother of Brandon’s mother. So there is no blood relationship to Austin. For argument sake, add Austin’s 2011 Armwood state title and Bernard Clark’s National Titles with Miami, Austin doesn’t have to look far for motivation.
Austin Gallon is not a household name, YET! But, if he continues to have big time performances throughout the summer, followed by a productive 2012 varsity season, Austin Gallon has the measurables and ability to be a genuine D1 receiver prospect.