Coach Speak: Taariq Allen

After committing to the UConn Huskies early in the recruiting process, Mass. athlete Taariq Allen later had a change of heart and decided to open things back up. Well according to head coach Richard Fisher of Rivers High School in Weston (MA), after careful consideration with those in his inner circle, Allen has made his final decision.

After much thought and heart filled talks with his family, Coach Richard Fisher said Taariq Allen decided to bring his recruitment to an end yesterday.

"Taariq, I think if you're asking me, just wanted to get this over with. I'm not sure which coach he talked to yesterday, coach Gilmore would be my guess, but he went ahead and committed to Nebraska. He'll probably come in here later with a big smile on his face."

Coach Fisher gave some insight on why he thinks Allen chose Nebraska in the end.

"Just the big-time program and the great coaches out there. When Taariq went out there this summer he was really blown away by the family atmosphere. See, he comes from a great family, his dad is a cop, and just a great family overall. I think that really appealed to him when he was out there.

"Even after he made the commitment [to UConn], I think in the back of his mind he still liked Nebraska a lot. Coach Ted Gilmore, teh wide receivers coach from Nebraska, came out here on their bye week and that meant a lot to him as well."

But it wasn't just the effort of the wide receivers coach that Allen appreciated. Coach Fisher said that Allen likes what Bo Pelini is doing with the team and the program as a whole.

"Also, if you look what coach Pelini is doing out there you can't help but be impressed. Taariq wants to play for a winner, with great coaches and a great atmosphere. Nebraska gives him all that and more."

Coach Fisher gives high praise to Allen and says that his biggest quality is that he's competitive. The competitiveness drives his work ethic and it's all paying off for Allen.

"If I had to describe him in one or two words, it would be ‘ultimate competitor'. I've only been at this school for two years and he basically got here at the same time I did. And ever since he's been here he has been on a mission to be the best football player he can be. He attacks the weight room, one of those first in, last out guys.

"He was named the captain this year of the team by his peers, which I think says a lot. He really is the heartbeat of our team, the other kids feed off him.

"But to be honest Kevin, the most important thing Nebraska is getting? You're getting a quality young man, from a very disciplined home environment. A big family kid, like I said earlier that's one of the reasons he chose Nebraska."

On the field Coach Fisher thinks that Allen has the ball skills to succeed at the next level. Coach Fisher actually said that Nebraska could see Allen playing on either side of the ball.

"He has great ball skills, he really tracks the ball well. I know coach Pelini thinks he could end up on either side of the ball, maybe safety or wide receiver. We're talking about a kid that is 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds that can really run. He has the highest vertical leap on the team. He is extremely raw at the same time, kids best days are still ahead of him. Nebraska is getting a good one here."

After getting an early offer from Nebraska, right after summer camp, Allen still chose UConn quickly after getting their offer. And after decommitting from UConn and committing to Nebraska, Coach Fisher says that Allen is done.

"Yeah, he'll stick with his commitment to Nebraska. I think all along that's were he wanted to go. We had USC calling here the other day asking about him. They told me they actually liked him at safety. But he didn't seem to care, it's all Nebraska for him now."

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