2010 Intro: Keenan Allen

GREENSBORO, N.C. --- Those that have seen Keenan Allen play come away with the same impression.

"He's very versatile," Northern Guilford High head football coach Johnny Roscoe said.

Throughout his prep career, Allen, a 6-foot-2, 182-pounder, has played several different positions and excelled at each.

Allen spent his first two prep seasons at Greensboro Grimsley High. As a freshman, he earned the starting running back role. A year later, he also started at cornerback.

As a sophomore, Allen collected 800 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground, and 640 yards and 12 touchdowns in receptions. He also recorded 50 tackles and four interceptions.

Northern Guilford High opened up following Allen's sophomore season. He was among the students asked to transfer into the new school.

"I just came out here and gave it 100-percent to try to win a [starting] spot," Allen said.

Allen earned a starting role at cornerback but not running back. Instead, he started at wide receiver on offense. He also held a role on every special teams unit, including handling the punting duties.

"One of his big attributes is he never wants to come off the field," Roscoe said.

During the season, Allen made two position changes: on offense, an injury forced a return to running back; and on defense, a philosophy change moved him from cornerback to safety.

"He's like the quarterback on defense," Roscoe said. "He sits back there and reads the offense and breaks on the ball real well. He fields real well too – he'll come up and hit you."

Allen ended his junior season with 42 receptions for 709 yards and 11 touchdowns and 554 yards and eight touchdowns on 64 rushes. He also threw three passes, completing all three, for 50 yards and a score. Defensively, Allen posted 48 tackles and nine interceptions.

For his senior season, Allen is slated to return to wide receiver on offense, and remain at safety on defense.

Roughly a month ago, Everett Withers, an assistant coach from North Carolina, visited Northern Guilford High and left a scholarship offer for Allen.

"[Withers] said they liked me on both sides of the ball, but he wants me to come in and play defense – probably cornerback," Allen said.

Allen has been offered a scholarship by a total of 13 schools, including Alabama, California, Clemson, Penn State, and Wake Forest.

Like UNC, all of the schools recruiting Allen are finding difficulty in projecting his best collegiate position.

"Most of them say when he gets to school, we'll see what fits him best," Roscoe said.

"Most schools want me to play defense," Allen said. "Oklahoma wants me to play corner, Clemson wants me to play offense, and Alabama wants me to play receiver."

An easy solution is to allow Allen to play both offense and defense.

"I think he could play both sides," Roscoe said. "We use him both sides. And I think the colleges have looked at him from a tailback to a receiver to a defensive back. Everything he does, they all like."

Allen prefers to play defense in college.

"I like hitting," Allen said.

Allen plans to be in Chapel Hill on February 28 for the Tar Heels' Junior Day. He has already unofficially visited Duke, South Carolina, and Wake Forest this spring.

Last summer, Allen camped at Alabama and Clemson. He plans to return to both camps this summer, as well as attend a camp at California.

Allen is currently favoring three schools.

"Right now, [I like] Clemson, Alabama, and California," Allen said. "They just stick out to me. I like the coaches."

Allen, though, says he doesn't plan to make his collegiate decision until closer to Signing Day.

Keenan Allen Profile

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