FONTANA, Calif. — During the past few months, there was a time that Summit junior athlete Damian Alloway thought he was ready to make his college commitment. With Cal and UCLA headlining a collection of offers for Alloway, the 5’10”, 170-pound running back / wide receiver opted to postpone his commitment.
“The main thing is I felt like I wasn’t ready,” Alloway said. “It was a thing where my coach had just kind-of told me I should do it, so I just kind of figured that I would. Then I got to talking to my family and I really couldn’t decide between Cal and UCLA, so I decided to call it off and wait until I was ready.”
Until he is ready, Alloway will continue to talk to coaches and enjoy the recruiting process. Just last week, Wisconsin offered Alloway, who is rated as a four-star prospect and the No. 1 all-purpose back in the country according to 247sports.com, and the Badgers made an impression on the rising junior.
Although he is not overly knowledgeable about the Wisconsin program, Alloway has taken notice of the Badgers’ ability to develop running backs and eventually send them to the NFL.
“Nothing other than their running backs that have come out of there,” Alloway said of his prior knowledge. “They have had a lot of productive running backs come out of college. That’s how I feel about them thus far. Other than that, I don’t really know anything about them.”
In order to learn more about the Badgers’ program, Alloway plans to visit Wisconsin in the near future, likely using an official visit to check out the campus and review an academic plan.
“I know that now that I have the Wisconsin offer, that’s going to be one of the official visits that I’m going to take,” Alloway said. “I’m probably going to get up to a couple other schools that I haven’t really decided yet. I’m probably going to go to Cal with one of my official visits, and Wisconsin is another official visit that I want to take.”
After Wisconsin and Cal, Alloway’s official visit plans get a bit cloudier. Several schools across the country have shown interest as of late, and Alloway is open to extending his recruiting process as long as it takes to find the right fit.
“Lately it’s been really Cal and UCLA,” Alloway said. “They’ve been really my top two for the last couple months, but now that other schools like Oregon, Notre Dame and Michigan are starting to get in contact, I feel like my recruitment is really going to switch up and I’m going to take my time and get to know those schools. Like with Oregon, I’m going to see what they have to offer me and take my time through the whole recruiting process.
“I’m just thinking first the education part, then the playing time and my relationship with the coaches. It’s about how I fit in the offense and if I can see myself at that school. Of course, getting a visit up there and seeing the community and stuff like that.”
Once Alloway believes the right fit has been found, a commitment could come at any time.
“At the earliest, I want to do it in June or July,” Alloway said. “If I get invited to The Opening, I’d want to do it there. If it has to stretch out to Signing Day, then that’s what I have to do to make the beat decision for myself, but I’m hoping to do it in the next few months.”
As one of the most coveted offensive prospects in California for the 2016 class, Alloway sees himself as a true jack-of-all-trades on the football field.
“One word is versatility,” Alloway said. “I could be used anywhere on the field. I feel like I can play defense, offense and special teams. There is really nothing that I can’t do on the field. Wherever I’m at, I’m going to make sure I make plays.”
And make plays he does. In 2014, Alloway caught 32 passes for 635 yards and 10 touchdowns, in addition to gaining 642 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground and 632 yards and four touchdowns in the return game. On defense, Alloway tacked on 33 tackles and 3 interceptions in a prolific season.
“Most of the colleges looking at me right now are looking at wide receiver,” Alloway said. “But some are also saying defense too as well if I go up there and they like what I’m doing on defense. They are saying they will give me a shot at both sides and wherever they like me and I can get the most playing time, that’s where I’ll be.
Alloway says he feels more like a wide receiver.
In the meantime, the versatile prep standout remains focused on improving his game before heading into his senior season. With a workout regimen that includes daily running with his track and field team, Alloway is staying in shape all year round.
“It’s been really productive,” Alloway said of his offseason. “I’ve been doing 7v7 and we won a couple championships. It’s really helping me work on my game especially going against bigger defensive backs in the game and I’m playing defense too in 7v7, so I get to go against different wide receivers in my class and in the 17 class as well, but its getting better, getting ready for my senior season. I’m also in track right now, so I’m getting faster while doing 7 on 7.
“What I’m mainly trying to work on is my routes. I’ve barely become a wide receiver last year, so I only really have a year of playing wide receiver under my belt. I’m really trying to learn the routes and helping myself get off on the ball. At wide receiver, I know my speed could out run anybody, but I want to make sure with my routes that if I’m with a DB that might be just as fast, that I can still get him with my routes.”