Allen Talks OSU Spring Game; More

Ohio State has an interesting connection to Orchard Lake, Mich., cornerback Dionte Allen. The Buckeyes landed his cousin -- safety Aaron Gant -- in their 2006 recruiting class. But Allen is one of the best in the nation at his position and pretty much has the pick of the litter of the nation's top programs. We caught up with him for his thoughts on OSU and more.

Orchard Lake, Mich., cornerback Dionte Allen took an unofficial visit to Ohio State last weekend and was in attendance for the Buckeyes' spring game. Allen was expecting to see a decent-sized crowd. But he wasn't anticipating 63,649 strong.

"It was nice down there. It was very exciting," Allen said. "It was nice to see all the fans come to support them for a spring game. I couldn't believe it. I was real, real shocked about that."

Allen (6-0, 168, 4.4) had previously been to Columbus, but last weekend was the first time he truly had a chance to explore the campus.

"Well, I came down there to play AAU basketball for ‘The Family' but I had never been down there for football," Allen said.

Allen is considering a prominent list of schools, including: Ohio State, Michigan, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Florida, USC and Texas. He says he has no favorite.

"Not at this point," he said. "I'm open. I liked Florida State growing up, but I'm open to everyone right now."

He has not set a timetable for making a decision.

"I'm not sure yet about that," he said.

Allen attended OSU's spring game with his cousin Aaron Gant -- a member of OSU's 2006 recruiting class –- and another high school teammate, wide receiver Taurian Washington.

"It was just cool," Allen said. "Aaron likes it down there and I can see why. We just hung out with everyone, talked to players, coaches. We talked to (OSU safeties coach Paul) Haynes a lot."

Allen talked more about his relationship with OSU's coaching staff, including Haynes, head coach Jim Tressel, and cornerbacks coach Tim Beckman.

"Coach Haynes, he's pretty cool," Allen said. "He's down-to-earth and I got to know him because he came down to the school a couple times when he was recruiting Aaron. I also talk to Coach Tressel and Coach Beckman. Coach Tressel is real, real nice to talk to. He doesn't forget anything. Coach Beckman, I just started talking to him, he's a real nice guy too."

Since he's from Michigan, is being recruited by both Michigan and Ohio State, and claims he did not root for either team growing up, Allen has a unique perspective of the OSU-UM rivalry. But he's just now starting to understand it.

"I knew it was bad, but I didn't know it was that bad," he said. "I always knew Ohio State and Michigan didn't like each other, I didn't know it was that crazy though. Ohio State hates their guts and Michigan hates their guts."

Allen's first scholarship offers came from the two in-state Big Ten schools. He couldn't remember which rolled in first.

"The first schools to offer me were Michigan State and Michigan," he said.

Allen has not been timed in the 40 recently. Told he was in the Scout.com database as a 4.4 guy, he responded: "Well, that's on a good day."

Allen, who is a two-way star at St. Mary Prep, explained what he does best on the football field.

"Half the time I play man and I press," he said. "I can come up and make tackles. A lot of corners don't try and hit nobody.

"On the receiver side, I just go get the ball. And on kickoff returns, I just take it back to the crib and stuff like that."

In college, Allen knows his days as a two-way starter will probably come to an end. But he's not ruling out playing a little bit of offense.

"I know it's hard to play both ways, so I'll probably just want to return a few kicks, and maybe play a few plays at receiver if they really need another guy," he said.

As a junior in 2005, Allen had over 50 tackles and seven interceptions.

On offense, he caught 17 receptions for 299 yards and two touchdowns. He ran for 54 yards on eight carries, and also returned eight kicks for 228 yards.

Allen averages 11 points per game as a starting point guard on his high school basketball team, and also competes in track.


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