There may not be a player on the Arizona Wildcats roster who better represents what spring football is about than quarterback Javelle Allen.
The Prosper, Texas, native redshirted the 2012 season - his first in Tucson. Now, he finds himself under the Rich Rodriguez microscope.
"He knows the pressure is on him a little bit, and I want the pressure to be on him," Rodriguez said.
Allen is trying to prove that the race to be the starting quarterback in 2013 isn't a three-man competition among Jesse Scroggins, Anu Solomon and B.J. Denker. Spring is just the time for that.
"They haven't seen me play, and I'm just trying to prove that I'm good enough to compete and to win with," Allen said.
Time will tell if Allen is able to use the spring to prove to his coaches he can be the guy or if it was just his 15 minutes in the spotlight.
As Rodriguez put it, next month's spring game, which will be televised on Pac-12 Arizona, will show some players on TV for the first time and "maybe the last time."
Allen is hoping it's the first of many television appearances in a Wildcats uniform.
Here are three ways he's making it happen:
1. He got in shape. As Rodriguez tells it, Allen got in shape once he was tired of the head man calling him chubby. He's listed at 6 feet 2 inches and 223 pounds on the roster and has probably shed a few pounds off that.
"I just worked out," Allen said. "I also tried to do some extra stuff anytime I could, and I tried to eat right."
It seems to have worked. Rodriguez is pleased with Allen's weight and thinks he can now use his full arsenal, which is running and passing.
"He lost some weight, which he needed to do, and I think he's getting more comfortable with what we're doing," Rodriguez said. "Javelle is one of those redshirt guys that frankly has to have this spring to prove himself."
2. He's listening to everything his coaches tell him. Allen said he's determined to not only listen to his coaches but understand what they are saying and how it can be applied to his game.
"I think the biggest thing I've learned here is you have to get better every day," Allen said. "You take something from the field every day, whether it's what Coach says or something he shows you; or if he's fussing at you, you have to take something from it and try to improve."
Rodriguez and his staff can be intense, but Allen is learning.
"I've felt the pressure from Coach since I got here," Allen said. "When you're out here, you can't take it to heart."
3. He's confident in his abilities. Allen knows he can play. He knows he's a guy capable of being in the mix and making the throws in games that need to be made.
As a senior at Prosper High School, he threw for 2,321 yards and rushed for 1,497 more. He accounted for 52 total touchdowns.
He's going to listen to his coaches and continue to get in even better shape, but at the end of the day, Allen plans on working his way into the conversation by simply relying on his talents and making plays.
"I'm speeding up my mind process - how I see the field," Allen said. "I'm trying to make my reads faster and get the ball out faster."
Rodriguez is noticing.
"He made a couple of throws today that I hadn't seen yet," Rodriguez said after Wednesday's practice. "It was real positive."
• Next Friday: 7 p.m., scrimmage at Phoenix College
• April 13: 1 p.m., spring game at Kindall/Sancet Stadium
Contact reporter Daniel Berk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4330. On Twitter @DSBerk