Coach: Allen Has All the Tools

Pack Pride talks with Tifton (GA) Tift County head coach Jay Walls about his star offensive lineman, Zach Allen.

Tift County head coach Jay Walls knows that the key to a good offense is a strong offensive line and he feels he has one of the top offensive linemen in Georgia in Zach Allen.

"He's our best offensive lineman," said coach Walls. "We put him on the left side at tackle to protect the backside of our quarterback, and he does an outstanding job for us.

"Zach is great against the run and the pass... he can block in either situation. We run the spread, and he does a great job with leading our blocking."

At 6-foot-3 and 310 pounds, Allen was a first-team all-state selection as a junior and is a terrific athlete. He's been timed at 4.98 in the 40-yard dash, benches 365 pounds, and he has maxed out at 625-pounds squatting and 335 pounds on the power clean.

"Zach is a real physical and just very athletic," said coach Walls. "He really has all the tools that you look for in a lineman. He has great feet. We run a lot of screens and he does a good job of getting out front and maintaining his blocks for our backs... that isn't an easy thing to do.

"Another thing with Zach is he is still growing. He will turn 17 this fall... he's just 16 years old."

Allen had a chance to showcase what he could do at the Athens NIKE Camp this spring, and he did more than that. With talented offensive linemen such as Nick McRae and Kenneth Page on hand, it was Allen who stole the show, as he took home MVP honors for his performance.

"A lot of times those camps and combines aren't good for kids, but they really have helped out Zach," said coach Walls. "It's been good for him to go to these camps. I know he did really well at that NIKE Combine... he was their MVP.

"He also went down to Florida's camp and did real well. They felt he was one of the best linemen at the camp, especially on their board drills."

Thus far Allen has picked up scholarship offers from NC State, UAB, Troy State, South Florida, and Middle Tennessee State, and he is receiving heavy interest from Florida and Georgia.

Allen unofficially visited NC State this past weekend. What did he think of the trip?

"I think he really liked it," coach Walls stated. "I think the coach that recruits this area, Andy McCollum, Zach really likes him. He enjoyed visiting with him, and he likes their campus and their facilities.

"I really think North Carolina State has one of the nicest campuses in America and their facilities are as good as you will find in the country."

Coach Walls is very familiar with NC State linebackers coach Andy McCollum. McCollum recruits Georgia for NC State and made the area a priority when he was head coach at Middle Tennessee State and while he was an assistant at Baylor.

"I've known coach McCollum a long time," said coach Walls. "I've known him from back when he was an assistant coach at Baylor. I think he's a great coach.

"He's an outstanding defensive coach, and I think he's a really good recruiter. He's recruiting our area harder and he's really always been a good recruiter."

Where does Allen stand with his recruitment?

"He has gone up and visited North Carolina State, and he really liiked it," said coach Walls "He's got a bother that plays at Troy State and that could be a factor for him as well. I don't think he is in any rush to decide."

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