Placing recruiting on the backburner is tough for some, but even when Allen was restricted to his couch as he recovered from a recent shoulder surgery, he didn’t spend much time reflecting on it.
“I just thought about getting back in the gym,” said the 6-foot-5, 245-pounder.
It will be a while before Allen is able to get back in the gym by his standards as he has about six more weeks of rehab and recovery from a condition referred to as “Weightlifter’s Shoulder.”
“I had so much weight on the shoulder and when I lift I have a wider grip so it put pressure on the clavicle and it bent the tip of it,” explained Allen. “It basically stretched out the ligaments so they had to shave off some bone to straighten it back out.”
Like many medical ailments and procedures the terminology alone can be confusing. Allen, himself, doesn’t fully understand the scope of the injury, but he knows that he’s on the road to recovery and that’s what matters most.
“It’s looking good,” he said. “I got my staples out yesterday and now it’s just letting it heal so I’ll be full speed later this summer, which will not be a problem.”
Allen is already back up and going, and this weekend he will hit the road to take in LSU’s spring game. The nation’s 15th ranked defensive end will make the three-plus hour drive down from West Monroe on Saturday with his parents, but he’ll spend a little extra time in the Capitol City through Sunday, along with a couple of his good friends and future Tigers in Barkevious Mingo and Tyler Glynn.
Allen is certainly no stranger to LSU after attending three home games last season along with two junior days in January and February.
That familiarity with the LSU program is one reason that he has LSU sitting at the top of his list, and he’s not one who worries about playing the recruiting game when talking about his options.
“I don’t care if people say that LSU is my leader because it’s true right now,” he said. “It’s true but that’s because I haven’t been anywhere else. I don’t want people to get the wrong idea that I’m about to commit there, because I’m not. I’m going to wait until I give other schools a chance.”
By giving other schools a chance the Scout 100 member is referring to taking some other trips so that he can compare the pros and cons of each school.
“I haven’t been to any other schools to compare and I really want to go visit Georgia, Nebraska, Texas, and probably Alabama now that they’ve offered,” Allen said. “I may get to take a visit somewhere this summer, and then some others will have to be during the fall when I take official visits.”
Allen, who previously held offers from LSU, Texas A&M, Michigan, Tennessee, Georgia, Nebraska, Minnesota, and several others, added a new skin to the wall on Tuesday when Alabama head coach Nick Saban extended an overture.
That put the Crimson Tide in that group of schools that he wants to visit and that make up his current Top 5. What is it about those schools that has created some separation from his other suitors heading into the May evaluation period?
LSU – “It’s close to home and I have a lot of friends that go there. I could sit here and say a lot of things that I like a lot, but it’s probably the atmosphere over anything else. I really want to play in a crazy atmosphere where you can feel it, and I know LSU is one of the best.”
Georgia – “I’ve just really heard a lot of good things about them. My defensive end coach here at West Monroe (Mark Ware) had a defensive end that was dead set on going to LSU, but a Georgia coach got him to visit Athens. He went up there and decided that he wanted to go to Georgia after that, so if they got something that can change your mind like that then I want to see it.”
Nebraska – “I’ve heard a lot about it being in the flat lands and not much to it, but I heard that the campus is actually in the city so I could get used to that. Bo Pelini is a really good coach so I wouldn’t mind playing under him. I just want to check them out too.”
Texas – “Our recruiting coach sent them my transcripts so I’m anxious to see what they say about an offer. I know they’ve been a pretty dominant force over there and it’s also pretty close, so I wouldn’t mind going to check them out.”
Alabama – “They have a lot of tradition over there then I know Luther (Davis) goes there. Coach Saban was telling me about the graduation rate when I talked to him a little while ago, but I really don’t know much about them.”
Allen admits that he hasn’t had much of a problem with the attention that the recruiting process has generated, and he also hasn’t found it too difficult in ranking his top schools.
“I’d put LSU No. 1 with Georgia No. 2, then it would be Nebraska, Texas and then Alabama,” he said.
One reason that Allen hasn’t been overwhelmed with the attention that has come his way is that he doesn’t cave in to the pressure. He handles all of the people telling him he should go to this school or that school just the same as he does when people laud him for being ranked one of the nation’s best prospects.
“I block it out because it’s my decision,” he said. “I don’t put pressure on myself like that or really think much about recruiting. Like, I could care less if I’m a 1-star or a 5-star recruit. That kind of stuff doesn’t bother me because I’m going to go 100 percent like I always do regardless of whether I’m in the Top 100 or not. Some people put pressure on themselves by worrying about all of that stuff but not me.”