ASU visit gives Allen new perspective

Cynics tend to snicker at the term student-athlete, claiming that once a prospect enrolls at the university of his choice the dedication to gridiron easily trumps any attention he would give to his studies. Yet, the academic emphasis ASU showcases in its recruiting efforts do project quite strongly with some recruits, as it did on Monday with Phoenix Brophy wide receiver Devon Allen.

The 6-1 180-pound Devon Allen has been pursued by Arizona State for several months now, and prior to today the Brophy standout unofficially visited the Sun Devils some three weeks ago. In Allen's mind there was no doubt what was most different, let alone surprising, about his recent experience in Tempe.

"A few weeks ago we did the whole campus tour and the facilities," Allen recalled. "Today was more meeting with the Barrett Honors College Dean and getting a tour of their college. I never thought it would be as highly recognized as it is. I learned that out of 60 honor colleges in the nation they were ranked number one and that getting a degree from there is rated almost as high as a degree from most Ivy League schools and it's right up there with schools such as Stanford, Vanderbilt and Duke.

"A lot of students who graduate from Barrett Honors College end up continuing to Ivy League schools and being in that (Honors) college is a big step in their education. So it's was really good to know that if I would go to ASU and be in the Honors College that I wouldn't be missing out on anything. Because of the Honors College my eyes really opened up to ASU more than before"

Allen also spent time visiting with the ASU coaching staff, and sat down with ASU's wide receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander who showed him game film of the offensive scheme the Sun Devils will run this season as he mapped out Allen's potential role with the maroon and gold.

"He showed me film of wide receivers that played for coach Graham at Tulsa and Pitt," Allen recalled, "and those were players that resembled me and showed me how I would play the position. If I came there I would definitely be a deep threat that could pull some safeties and get the ball thrown to a lot.

"Obviously when they run their scheme at ASU they are gonna put some twists to it. They also told me that see me as a wide receiver that would move around a lot."

When Allen unofficially visited Tempe a few weeks ago he was part of a select group of top local 2013 recruits who also visited that day and represented local prospects that ASU has been pursuing in earnest ever since Todd Graham arrived in Tempe. On Monday virtually that same group of high school players was back on campus and Allen was impressed with the message that Sun Devil staff has been sending in that regard.

"They are really showing how important it is for them to sign players from Arizona," Allen said of the ASU coaches, "and that is why they are working so hard on building relationships with all of us. They are really getting away from the thought that the previous ASU coaches didn't do a good job recruiting the state.

"The new staff is really pushing hard to keep the local kids at home so they can play in front of their family and local fans."

As a junior, Allen collected 44 receptions for 844 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Brophy standout has been one of the hottest 2013 wide receiver recruits in the Western region holding over a dozen offers from Pac-12 schools such as ASU, Arizona, Stanford and Washington as well as schools back east such as Michigan, Duke and Vanderbilt.

Allen is one of the state's fastest sprinters and individually finished as Arizona's state championship runner up in the 200m (clocking at 21.50) and 110 hurdles (13.90) and was integral in Brophy's Division I state team championship last year. He indicated that his track and field schedule in the upcoming weeks could affect future unofficial visits to ASU as well as his other suitors.

"I really haven't visited other colleges as much as I would have liked to," Allen admitted. "I want to get a chance to go out there and see what other programs have to offer and take my time before I make a decision."

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