The DeMatha High (Hyattsville, Md.) running back always liked the Nittany Lions, then got a special feeling when he camped there in the summer. So once he received an offer and was able to think it over, he committed, making the decision at the beginning of the week.
"When I went to the camp I liked everything I saw about it," Allen said. "The coaches talked to me and I liked how they were talking. Coach O'Brien gave me a good feeling and gave off a good vibe, and it felt like the perfect fit.
"The dorms were nice and then you had the campus and how all the students walk around and everything. That was nice. Then there was the football facilities; the film room, the weight room, etc."
Like many of the players to commit to O'Brien, it was a connection the 5-foot-7, 185-pound multi-purpose Allen had with the first-year head coach that sealed the deal.
"He basically told me size doesn't matter. It shouldn't affect how people look at me," Allen said. "Most people look and think, ‘Oh, he's small. Look at his size.' When I was talking to coach O'Brien at the camp he was saying size doesn't matter and he saw the way I played and said I looked great."
Allen is used in the backfield, as a receiver and in the return game at DeMatha, and O'Brien outlined a similar plan of usage once he arrives on campus.
"I feel like I'm dangerous all around," Allen said. "I'm not trying to be cocky or anything like that, but I feel like I'm dangerous all around because I can come out of the backfield, you can put me at slot, motion out of the backfield, my route running is good, I can catch. I can get off tackle and run through the hole. I'm diverse."
Given it is more than 15 months until Allen can sign a binding national letter of intent and he plays for a high-profile high school program where dozens upon dozens of schools will walk through in recruiting, he doesn't expect this to be the end of his recruitment.
"I'm not really going to be worried about other schools, but I expect them to come hard at me because I'm going to work hard and perform on the field," said Allen, who said he has no plans to look elsewhere. "I liked (Penn State) growing up because they ran the ball a lot. And for some reason, I liked their colors and how plain they are."