Allen Enjoys UVa, Plans To Return

New Canaan (Conn.) High defensive end prospect Zach Allen made his first visit to Virginia, and it made quite an impression.

New Canaan (Conn.) High defensive end prospect Zach Allen made his first trip to Virginia for Saturday's junior day, and after leaving he was already thinking about make a return.

Allen, a 6-foot-6, 242-pounder who holds an offer, met with coach Mike London, receivers coach Marques Hagans and defensive line coach Jappy Oliver, and came away highly impressed.

"It was great," Allen said. "Everything was beautiful about it and the facilities are amazing, and also the coaching staff …they're all great. I went down with my aunt this time, and I really want to bring down my parents and show them it later in the spring."

Allen plays outside linebacker in New Canaan's 3-4 defense, and the Cavaliers staff is thinking he will develop into a defensive end. However, there is intrigue with the staff when it comes to Allen's ability to play linebacker in college.

"They were saying with my size I have so much potential because I'm only 16," Allen said. "They see that I can play either outside linebacker or defensive end. They said I'm going to grow more, and then hitting a college weight room, they said I'm probably going to project on the defensive line. I like that because I get to rush the quarterback 100 percent of the time."

Allen said a number of student from New Canaan now attend Virginia, and they talked favorably about it.

However, until he toured the campus and learned what the school has to offer, he didn't fully understand it.

"I really saw why they liked it a lot," he said. "You could really see the architecture. It was beautiful. You see all the statues. The statue of Lewis and Clark downtown and also Thomas Jefferson, and also I drove around a little bit at Monticello.

"Also, there is that modern aspect and the great facilities, like the indoor facility, and the stadium and the locker rooms. It's a good balance."

The focal point of the weekend was the men's basketball win against Syracuse, and while the crowd reaction won't figure in Allen's decision, he did enjoy it.

"You get to see what the student body is like, and they got an award for being voted the No. 1 student section in the country," Allen said. "Just the great support of all the athletics is something I want, but it's also just awesome going to an ACC championship game."

Allen's next scheduled visit is March 29 to Rutgers. He also is trying to set up visits to Penn State, Pittsburgh and Northwestern, and is getting interest from Ivy League schools.

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