The offensive line has become a prime position of importance for NC State recruiting and they took a major step towards addressing those needs on Wednesday when they landed a commitment from OL Zachary Allen from Tift County High School in Tifton, Ga.
After grading out at 90% as a junior and finishing the season with all-area, all-region and class 5A all-state honors, Allen picked up an offer from the Wolfpack back in early July. He told Pack Pride after his visit to NC State in August that he was a heavy lean to the Pack and made his commitment official yesterday.
"I committed today (Wednesday)," Allen told Pack Pride. "I gave them a call to let them know I was coming and told them I wanted to commit. I talked to coach O'Brien and he told me he was glad to have me in the Wolfpack family. They were really excited to hear that."
Allen said that NC State gave him everything he was looking for in a future college.
"I just loved the whole atmosphere there," he said. "It was a great, clean city. They have nice coaches and I'll get to play against great competition. It'll give me a chance to get some national exposure by playing at that level and they have great football there."
Allen said he is 100% committed to NC State and has no plans to visit any other schools. He said he will be back in Raleigh in January for his official visit.
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 is an above-average 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."
Allen was recruited by LB coach Andy McCollum. He also had scholarship offers offers from Troy, South Florida, UAB and Middle Tennessee State.
Zach Allen is NC State's 11th commitment in the 2008 class, and the Wolfpack's first offensive line verbal. Pack Pride will have more on his decision in the near future so stay tuned!