Auburn Makes Big Impression On Top 100 OT

4-star offensive tackle Willie Allen talks about his first look at the Auburn Tigers.

River Ridge, La.--A four-star prospect and rated the No. 5 offensive tackle in the nation, 6-7, 300 Willie Allen continued his tour around the SEC on Wednesday and Thursday when he traveled to Auburn to check out Gus Malzahn and the Tigers. Getting his first glimpse at life on the Plains, Allen said the visit went well as expected.

“It's pretty good,” Allen said of Auburn. “The campus is beautiful. You know, every place is pretty much the same.Coach Malzahn is a good guy. I'm enjoying my visit. I'm staying overnight and I'm going to get acclimated here and get to know the guys a little better.”

Even in his short time on campus, Allen said there was something about Auburn that stood out to him. Saying he’s looking for a place that fits his mantra of “faith, family and football”, the talented tackle said Auburn definitely felt like home for him on his first look.

“(It felt that way) when I started talking to Coach Malzahn,” Allen said. “It's a small town. You can't get into trouble or anything. That's a positive thing. Coach Malzahn is straight-forward. He's the kind of guy you like to be around, good people, positive people, no negative vibes or anything. That's the type of guy I like to be around.”

Another guy that Allen said he likes to be around is Auburn OL Coach J.B. Grimes. A veteran that has been around the game for more than 30 years, Grimes has consistently put guys in the NFL and when you throw in the style of play for the Tigers, Allen said it’s a good fit.

“Coach Grimes is a good guy, an old school guy who likes to run the ball,” Allen said. “He's just straight-forward and likes to get the job done. Everything is fast tempo. You get a visual aspect of the game from the technology they have.”

Growing up in Louisiana, Allen said he has started learning more about Greg Robinson and his time at Auburn recently, something he said makes the Tigers even more of a team to put on his radar moving forward. Much like Robinson when he became a top prospect out of Thibodeaux, Allen is still relatively inexperienced as a football player with just three years of playing time under his belt. Because of that he said playing early isn’t necessarily something that will be a big deal for him.

“A redshirt doesn’t matter to me, it’s an extra year so I can graduate,” Allen said. “If I can play right away this would be the place. I’m not committed to anywhere yet. I’m open to recruitment. I’m just enjoying the process.”

Planning to take all five of his official visits and make a decision on or around signing day, Allen said at the moment Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU, Florida State, Nebraska, UCLA and Tulane are some of the schools he’s looking at. While the heat will be on to stay at home and play for Les Miles’ Tigers, Allen said for him that won’t factor in at all.

“I don’t pay any attention to it,” Allen said. “It’s my decision, it’s not theirs. They don’t have to lay their head down in the dorm room, I do. I don’t listen to it.”

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