"When they helped us set up the tour for the school, they sat us down with an academic advisor, Adam Sargent," said Allen. "He was very knowledgeable and a former athlete himself, so he understands the rigors of being a full-time student at Notre Dame, and trying to be a Division I athlete as well as being away from home and all those kind of things. He did a really good job of explaining the support system Notre Dame has for its student athletes."
The Allen family connected with Sargent, perhaps more so than with other university's academic service advisors.
"It's one of those kind of things," said Allen. "You hear the story so many times during the recruiting process and it gets to the point to where you can believe whether people are sincere with their thoughts and what their feelings are.
"I felt very confident what they were saying as far as the support system they have in place for the student athletes, and what their purpose as counselors and a counseling staff is. The student counseling system is not there just for football but for all students, so the fact they seem to have a really good relationship with the football program was impressive to me."
Its clear location will take a backseat to a school's academic qualities when Allen eventually creates a list of favorites.
"It is really too early to say there are favorites," said Allen. "If I had to break it down, I would have to say we're looking at the academics first regardless of the location. A lot of people assume that since we live in Arizona, he wouldn't play somewhere that wasn't out here. In reality that's less of a factor than him getting a good educational opportunity. He realizes he's not going to play football forever.
"As a parent I try to be an example for him," Allen continued. "I was an athlete myself and I played football and played baseball. I didn't get to play college football, not because I didn't have the ability, but because I injured my neck and I actually almost broke my neck. So I couldn't play anymore. So I understood pretty quickly as a teenager that I needed to make sure that I prepared myself academically so I could take care of my family."
Devon has a twin sister, Carissa, and his father knows his kids have a special bond. His daughter is also using the many recruiting trips his son has taken to help her look for the right college to continue her own academic and athletic goals.
How much of a factor his daughter's decision will have on his son's has yet to be determined.
"These trips are helping Carissa," said Allen. "She is an outstanding volleyball, soccer and softball player; a very athletic and a good student in her own right. I understand as a parent there comes a time for them to have their own separate lives.
"She is already mapping out where she would like to go and what she would like to do, so I'm basically just supporting that. I'm a single father, so my children are at home with me all the time, but we always make time to make sure I get to their activities and they know I support their activities and they thrive.
"So I'm truly blessed as a parent, I know I am, so we kind of go from there. They are alike in a lot of ways as they both have great personalities, both are athletic, and both bright young people. They actually both have the same group of friends. So it's one of those kind of things were they sometimes fight back and forth, but it's nothing major and they love each other. They miss each other when one of the pair is gone, so that is probably going to be one of the biggest transitions for both of them.
"I would be lying if I didn't say I wanted both of them to be close in proximity for the simple fact that dad can be able to be at all the different games," said Allen. "The biggest thing for (Carissa), is the sports she plays usually has two or three, or up to four games a week, where football you have one. So all I have to do is get myself out to wherever Devon's at and go to the game and come back on Sunday night."