There is no lacking familiarity between Iowa State and Nixa (Mo.) tight end Chase Allen, who added an offer from the Cyclones last week.
In fact, the connections are rather surprising.
The 6-foot-7, 225-pound prospect, who holds offers from Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Wake Forest in addition to Iowa State and others, had been recruited to Illinois by new Iowa State assistant Alex Golesh. Yet his connection to Iowa State runs deeper.
“I used to live in Ames,” Allen said. “I was there and had always kind of been a Cyclones fan since I left there in third grade.”
Terry Allen, Chase’s father, was an assistant at Iowa State under Dan McCarney from 2002-05 between two head-coaching jobs at Northern Iowa and Kansas. He most recently coached at Missouri State from 2006-14 before retiring.
That connection had Chase on Iowa State’s radar back in the summer when he camped in Ames. The previous staff talked about a grayshirt but never offered. When Golesh and Matt Campbell arrived last week, the offer rolled in quickly.
“When [Golesh] transferred over he said I was the first person he called,” Allen said. “He said, ‘Hey, listen, we’re really thin at tight end so we’re looking to take a few this year and we want you to be our No. 1 guy. You’re the first person I’m calling, you’re the first one I’m going to and I’m excited about you.’”
Allen was not only the first prospect Golesh called, but also the first he visited when he stopped in to see him at basketball practice and then his home last Wednesday on his first day on the recruiting trail.
Monday, Golesh returned to Nixa along with Campbell, and had lunch with Allen. They stopped in to visit with his father afterward at their family restaurant as they make Allen a priority on the recruiting trail.
“I’m delighted to be in that situation,” Allen said of being a priority. “[Campbell] played tight end in college, so he gets it. He said he really was looking for the right guy for the program and considering the tight end situation they’re in right now where they’re very lacking, he couldn’t think of a guy that would be a better fit for the university, priority-wise, than me.”
Allen took an official visit to Minnesota during the weekend and a Gophers assistant will stop in this week. While he wishes he could visit soon, his Iowa State visit will have to wait until Jan. 15 because of basketball.
His decision is likely to come soon after.
“We’ll see if anything comes up before then,” Allen said of his schools. “But at the moment [Minnesota and Iowa State] are really my two front-runners. I don’t see myself making a decision until I take at least one more visit and I’ve got basketball games this weekend so that’s going to have to wait until January.”