Ole Miss offered Allen, 17, earlier this week, and he gave his non-binding verbal commitment to the Rebels Thursday, becoming the fifth commitment for the signing class of 2012. Allen currently holds but one other offer, from Troy, but claims interest from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Ohio State, among others.
"I wanted to play in the SEC," Allen told Pat McCann of the Panama City News Herald in an interview this week. "That's where the best of the best is at."
Allen rushed for 2,150 yards and scored 26 touchdowns last season for Arnold High School, near Mosley High, the former high school of current Ole Miss running back Enrique Davis. Davis and fellow running back Brandon Bolden will be seniors in 2011-12.
In his interview with McCann, the 5-foot-9, 178-pound Allen admitted the Rebels thin depth chart at running back played a role in his commitment, as well as his familiarity with Ole Miss sophomore running back Jeff Scott, also a Floridian.
Allen would join a running back group featuring Scott, junior Devin Thomas and redshirt freshman Nick Parker should he hold firm and sign with Ole Miss in February.
"He has the best lateral movement probably of any back I've seen," Arnold coach James Hale told McCann. "His lateral movement and acceleration and quickness are just outstanding. He's a strong runner and can take a pounding. And he can dish it out, too. He has all the tools."
Allen was named offensive Player of the Year by Panhandle Varsity as a junior, when he was also named first team All-Bay. Allen was the Most Valuable Player of all running backs to attend the Alabama Combine in Prattville, Ala.
Allen follows quarterback C.J. Beathard of Franklin, Tenn., who committed to Ole Miss Monday. South Panola teammates Issac Strong and Temario Strong committed last week.