Unexpected Visit Causes Allen to Reconsider

Class of 2014 lineman Derek Allen doesn't have the Terps in his top five, but that may change.

Sometimes even recruits are caught off guard.

This was certainly true for Derek Allen, who said his first contact with the Maryland coaching staff occurred only four days before he took an unofficial visit to College Park to watch Maryland play Florida State on November 17th.

“[Inside linebackers] coach Keith Dudzinski called my coach and I talked to him over the phone,” Allen said. “That was like the Tuesday before the game.”

Allen, who plays for Edison High School (Edison, New Jersey), said he talked with some of Maryland's coaches during his visit, including Dudzinski.

“I really like the coaches,” Allen said. “I got to see a couple coaches.”

The coaches gave Allen the typical run-down.

“They were talking to me about the facilities they have and what they like to do there,” Allen said.

After watching the game, Allen got to see some of the facilities with his own eyes as he was given a tour of the weight room.

It will certainly take more than a phone call and an unofficial visit to convince Allen to attend Maryland though. When asked on a scale of 1-10 how interested he was in Maryland (with 10 being extremely interested and 1 meaning not interested at all) Allen indicated he was giving Maryland mild consideration.

“I guess it would have to be 5 or 6, because they just called me the week before the game,” Allen said.

Allen went on to say that he didn't even know Maryland was recruiting him.

Allen knew other schools, such as Rutgers and Pittsburgh, were interested in him though. In fact, so far this year he's taken five unofficial visits to four different schools, including the two aforementioned colleges.

“Well I went to Rutgers twice this year,” Allen said. “Then I went to Pitt to see a game. I went to Temple to see a game. And then Maryland.”

Allen plays on both sides of the ball for Edison. He said most colleges are recruiting him as a offensive lineman. He doesn't even know what side of the ball Maryland would want him to play.

Allen isn't just an offensive prospect though. There are some schools, including Pitt, that are recruiting him for the defensive side of the ball.

Allen's numbers on that side of the ball certainly aren't bad. He finished his junior campaign with 56 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and one sack.

In fact, Allen stated a preference for defense. However, he did indicate he would be open to suiting up as an offensive lineman as well.

“I want to play defense,” Allen said. “My preferred position will be to play defensive end for a team. Either way I'm fine with playing offense.”

However, Allen didn't even play defensive end for Edison this past season. He played nose tackle in a 4-3 defensive system.

Allen reiterated that he would be open to playing offense in college.

“I don't look at either side as a bad thing,” Allen said. “I just prefer to play defense.”

Allen is primarily concerned with finding a college with good coaching and academics, not just a college where he suits up as a defensive end.

So far that criteria has led him to a top five of Oregon, Pitt, Temple, Rutgers, and Penn State.

Allen thinks he'll “probably change” his top five schools.

So far, Allen hasn't received any offers.

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