Allen's PSU Interest Increases

The Maryland junior defensive back had his interest renewed in the Nittany Lions this week, after his coach informed him of the newest offer to come his way.

Marcus Allen's interest in Penn State has waned in recent months. After early interest from the Nittany Lions, Allen saw other schools kick-up their recruitment of him with verbal scholarship offers, sending the Nittany Lions down his list. But after Tuesday, his interest became rekindled again. The Nittany Lions' became offer number 13 for the Wise High (Upper Marlboro, Md.) defensive back Tuesday, and Allen again is interested in a Nittany Lions program he knows plenty about.

"They called my coach and told him to let me know the good news, that they had offered me," Allen said. "I believe they are coming to my school sometime this week."

The offer is an important one to the 6-foot-2, 188 pound prospect, as not only were the Nittany Lions involved early in Allen's recruitment, but also the program of choice for three friends: class of 2013 H.D. Woodson (Washington, D.C.) DB Jordan Smith, Thomas Johnson High (Frederick, Md.) RB Richy Anderson, and lone class of 2014 commit Mark Allen of Dematha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.).

"It means a lot to me, because they were the first school that was really on me, but they never offered me," Allen explained. "They had to deal with all the hostility and stuff going on there, but Coach [Larry] Johnson just came about and showed my tape to all the coaches, and Coach O'Brien decided to give me a shot."

Indeed, it is Larry Johnson leading the charge in Allen's recruitment, and Allen says he considers Penn State's defensive line coach "a cool guy, and I have much respect for him." As for the program itself, the junior is not focused on the damming NCAA sanctions levied against the program last July.

"I mean, the sanctions don't have any power on me. I'd still be able to play football, and that's what every kid wants, and to make it to the next level," Allen said. "I like them because they have their own tradition, and through everything, they stick together as a team even if they went through that tragic moment, and they have people that committed down there in the class of 2013 and 2014 that I know."

Allen claims no favorites at this point in the process, but also is hearing plenty from both Pittsburgh and Maryland, and has made visits to both Oakland and College Park. Former Penn State wide-receiver Bobby Engram is heading his recruitment for the Panthers.

"The thing that makes me so excited about Pittsburgh is that I have a lot of family in Pittsburgh," Allen said. "I have cousins there, so it's like a second family, and the coaches are real up there, and the atmosphere, too. I've been going up there all my life over the summer and stuff to see my grandfather, so it wouldn't be like I was going anywhere unfamiliar."

But the Nittany Lions have connections, too. Outside of Smith, Anderson, and Mark Allen, the defensive back trains with Roman Morris, father of former Penn State defensive back Stephon, and former Philadelphia Eagle and NFL stand-out Troy Vincent at the duos PrimeXample training center in Greenbelt, Md.

"I was just there this past Sunday to perfect my craft and work out, which I do basically every day. It's non-stop," Allen said. "I think my cover skills have gotten a lot better. You know, in my 10th grade year when they moved me up to varsity and started me at safety, I didn't really know much about playing safety.

"But when I worked out with Coach Rome, and he told me all these things, I feel like I'm covering much better. We don't work on literally one drill, but multiple drills there."

Allen racked up 70 tackles over his junior season to go along with 8 pass break-ups, a pair of interceptions, and three forced fumbles in a 14-0 Wise campaign. But before he gets to his senior season, he'll make a few stops along the recruiting trail. And Penn State may be one of them.

"I want to make it out to Georgia Tech, and go to Vanderbilt and Rutgers," Allen explained. "I also want to try and get to Northwestern and Duke, and just a whole bunch of schools."


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