RECRUITING: Allen Has Nothing More To Prove

Armando Allen of Miami Hialeah Lakes put one goal behind him Saturday when he won the 110 meter hurdles for the Class AAAAAA state championship in Winter Park. Now that he's won the gold medal he cherished, he is going to start concentrating on what's next on his agenda --- football recruiting. He's a big time running back with a suitcase full of offers including one from the Florida Gators.

(See Armando Allen profile)

The 5-10, 185-pound Allen made a decision earlier in the year to concentrate on winning the gold medal in track before he would start seriously looking at schools. Now that he's achieved his goal, he's ready to start the process of figuring out where he's going to play college football in the fall of 2007. He has plenty of choices.

Sunday, Allen was still glowing from winning the state championship. He's a goal-oriented young man so success is very important but at the same time it was like a load had been lifted off his shoulders.

"It's a relief," Allen said. "It feels good man. It is something I have been working hard on for a long time and I finally did it. I finally got it out of the way. It's a big accomplishment for me. "

It has been quite a year for Allen, who has found success on several different levels.

"It's been a good year as far as passing the FCAT, and my SAT is also taken care of," said Allen. "This track thing is done. The football season was pretty good. I got most of the stuff I needed to out of the way, so I can just concentrate on the football season."

With this gold medal in hand, Allen now does not feel obligated to come back for a repeat as a senior. Instead, he wants to get an early jump on his collegiate football career.

"I made up my mind to go ahead and enter college as an early enrollee," he said.

He doesn't know whether track will be a part of his college life. It is something he will still have to ponder.

"I am not sure, I haven't made up my mind about that yet," he said. "I have gotten a few letters (from track coaches), but I haven't talked to too many about it."

Even though he was concentrating on track, college football coaches were relentless. They called regularly and filled his cell phone with text messages. Already he's gotten calls of congratulations for his winning effort at the state meet from some football coaches.

"I got a couple of congratulations already," he said. "I get probably forty [text messages] a day. They go crazy, the text messaging is outrageous."

The text messaging figures to get a little more frantic now that he has time to send a few back. He's still trying to sort out a list of favorites from all the callers and text messages. He plans to make a leader's list his priority in the next couple of weeks.

"I haven't really thought about (any schools), so now I really have to figure out what I am going to do.," he said. "Right now I am wide open for everybody. "

One school that wants a chance at the big time running back is the Florida Gators. It appears there is some mutual interest between the two parties.

"I hear from the Gator staff all the time," he said. "I am definitely looking at the Gators. I have already been talking to Coach (Doc) Holliday, Coach (Urban) Meyer, and Coach (Stan) Drayton."

He has plenty of offers and more are pouring in. Allen and his high school coach don't feel there is anything more to prove by attending any combines. Allen was the offensive MVP of the Army All-American combine in San Antonio (TX) in January so he's already made a big splash on the national scene.

His 13.82 at the state track meet was the fourth fastest time nationally for a high school runner in the hurdles. He's mulling it over whether to do some national track meets later this month. With only seven days of school remaining and his spring football jamboree against Palmetto coming in about ten days, he already has a full schedule.

No matter what he does the rest of this spring and summer, however, Armando Allen has no one left to impress.

Fightin Gators Top Stories