With the summer stretch of the offseason coming to a close in around a month, Buford (Ga.) Lanier defensive end Mike Allen is paring down his list of offers after receiving some sage advice from his coach. Allen, who stands at 6-foot-6 and 241 pounds, holds offers from 29 Division-I schools at this time and is interested in closing his recruitment down in the not-too-distant future.
“It feels right for me,” Allen told Today’s U. “If I wanted to, I could have kept it all in and waited until the very, very end. I know for most people it’s not the case for them, and I’m one of those for some schools. I know in the past few months, schools have been filling up and racking up commits to where they have no more spots. My coach told me and a few of my teammates to consider committing before the season starts or at the beginning to make sure we have a spot and it doesn’t get taken when it’s all over and done with.”
Allen took his coach’s advice to heart and released what he considers his top-six schools via a post on Twitter nearly two weeks ago. Among the schools listed were Alabama, Georgia, USC, Tennessee, South Carolina and Wake Forest.
‼️Top 6 ‼️ pic.twitter.com/LzlhbCTg2S
— Mike Allen (@bigmikeal) July 16, 2016
Releasing a list of top schools is one step closer to issuing a verbal commitment, a step that is very much on the forefront of Allen’s conscience. That said, it is likely that Allen reserves his position with the school of his choice by silently committing before informing the public of his choice later on.
“If I wanted to [commit] I could and I’ll probably do that in the next little while and then announce it on signing day,” Allen said. “I might just silent commit.”
Silently committing would allow for Allen to take all five of his official visits as a publicly uncommitted prospect, an element that would remove negative fanfare from onlookers who follow the school he committed to. Allen says he has only visited roughly 10 of the schools to offer him so far, so this official visit process will be informative as to which school he should attend.
For Allen, who is ranked as a 3-star prospect and the No. 21 defensive end in the country according to 247sports.com, several factors will influence his decision as to which program he should commit to.
“The major that they have, if it’s a good quality and the team chemistry of everyone between the players and coaches, players and players and how well the community is around the football team,” Allen said. “Where everyone is a family, so I would like that. Also, what they can help you with when you leave the school, that would be good too.”
Based on Allen’s top six, five of the schools are considered to be somewhat traditional powerhouse football programs, but Wake Forest is seen as more of a basketball school to most. Allen broke down why he included the Demon Deacons on his list.
“It’s a small school,” Allen said. “It’s a private school with only ten or so kids in the class, have straight As. They have a 12-to-1 student teacher ratio, which is pretty small classes. The football team is pretty good even though they’re not really known for their football, but it’s good quality football. Wake Forest is a good name to have on paper when you’re trying to fill out that job application.”
As for his upcoming senior season, Allen has his eyes firmly planted on an award which is bestowed to the most dominant defensive player at Lanier High School every year.
“We have this tradition at our school where at the end of every season you get to take a sledgehammer,” Allen said. “It’s a sledgehammer that symbolizes our defense. I want to be the one to take it home. That’s pretty much the most tackles, most sacks and all that stuff.”
Click here for a link to Allen’s junior highlight tape.