Monday, May 4, 2009

Allen has everyone's attention

The phone calls keep coming. Now Keenan Allen receives perhaps ten a week, but they are increasing as the Northern Guilford athlete approaches his senior season. And, while he remains wide open, certain teams are starting to grab his attention.

"Alabama is my leader," he said recently. "They have a great coaching staff; I keep contact with them and they are good friends."

Allen, who is ranked No.4 on The Observer's NC Top 25 prospects list, said that if he had to pick five schools to make his official visits to right now, they would be Alabama, Clemson, Oregon, California and North Carolina. And he said that he will take all five visits before making his decision.

"I’m enjoying this," he said. "Taking my time, keeping my options open."

Allen is 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, and could wind up at safety, running back or wide receiver in college; he's that good. Remarkably fluid, he's quick to make adjustments in coverage, and hard to stay with when he has the ball or is reaching for a pass in the secondary.

Asked what the hardest thing for him to do on the field is, he laughed.

"I’m not sure. I guess punting, because I punt. But I like punting."

As a junior, Allen ran for 8 TDs, caught passes for 11 and even threw for a score. He also had nine interceptions.

What motivates him?

"I just come and prove everybody wrong," he said of his trips to various combines. "Some people (who are) thinking I ain’t good. They don’t think I’m better than some of the athletes that I think I’m better than."

Maybe once upon a time, Keenan, but not now. After all, you've been invited to play in the U.S. Army All-American game. Consider the proving complete.

--Stan Olson

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