Tigers, Tide battling for top WR

CHARLOTTE — For some reason, this Greensboro, N.C. athlete felt he had something to prove Sunday when he attended the Scout.com/Fox Sports Combine.

And though Northern Guilford's Keenan Allen was indeed impressive, he really had nothing to prove to anyone. Last year, the 6-foot-2, 194-pound athlete caught 42 passed for 709 yards and 11 touchdowns, while also rushing for 554 more yards and eight more scores.

And to top those numbers off, he recorded 48 tackles on defense and snatched nine passes as a safety. Oh by the way, he also threw for a touchdown.

"I came here to prove everybody wrong," Allen said while explaining why he was at the combine. "Some people seem to think that I'm not any good. They don't think I'm better than some of the athletes that I think I'm better than.

"I want to come out here and compete."

There are a whole lot of people, or colleges for that matter, that think Allen has already proven enough, of course. In all, he carries 13 offers from schools in the ACC, SEC, Big East, Big 10 and the Pac 10.

"I get several calls a week, about 15 or so," said Allen, who has been playing football since his cousin introduced him to the sport when he was a little boy.

Clemson has been one of those schools. The Tigers offered Allen last summer when he was at a Clemson football camp. He has since been to Clemson for a recent Junior Day, and says he really is impressed with the campus, the school and offensive coordinator Billy Napier.

"I love Clemson. It feels like home," he said. "It's about a four-hour drive (from Greensboro) so it's not too long. My family can come down there and watch the games."

Clemson seems to be in a battle with Alabama for Allen's services. He lists the Crimson Tide as a slight lean heading into the summer.

"They have a great coaching staff there and I keep in contact with them and they are different," he said.

Allen ranks Alabama, Clemson, Oregon, California and North Carolina as his top five schools, and right now those are the five schools he plans to take officials visits to. He also has offers from Duke, Kentucky, Michigan, N.C. State, Penn State, South Carolina, Wake Forest and West Virginia.

"I'm enjoying (recruiting) and taking my time. I'm keeping my options open," Allen said.

As for how he did during the Scout.com combine — he was one of Chad Simmons' top offensive players.

"Allen is going to play defense on the next level, but he spent more time on the offensive side of the ball on Sunday," Scout.com's Southeast recruiting manager said. "He lined up at receiver and turned out to be one of the best there. He caught the ball well, ran pretty good routes, and he showed very good body control when making adjustments on the ball.

"When he moved over to the other side, he took those same skills with him – the first time he was at corner, he picked a ball off at his highest point over the offensive player. Allen will be a big safety in college and he showed great athleticism and ball skills in Charlotte. Most probably expected him to be on the defensive list, but he showed he can get it done on the offensive side too this past weekend."

So as everyone expected, mission accomplished for Mr. Allen at the combine. He proved his skeptics wrong, while also reassuring everyone why he is so sought after.

"I just come out here, play my game and give it my all and see what happens."

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