Two For One?
A quarterback is only as good as his left tackle.
It makes sense then that five-star quarterback Shea Patterson and four-star offensive lineman Willie Allen are planning to take some visits together early on in the 2016 recruiting process and are at least entertaining the possibility of playing together in college.
The pair was in Oxford, Miss., for Ole Miss’ elite junior day on Saturday.
“It’s very early. I’m open,” the 6-foot-7, 300-pound Allen said. “Shea and I plan on taking visits together. We talked about (playing together Friday) night. We don’t really know the programs yet; we still have another year. We have time.”
Allen plans on visiting LSU next week. He’ll trip to Alabama and UCLA in the summer, among other likely stops he hasn’t scheduled yet.
Ole Miss, however, got one of the first cracks at Allen, rated the no. 71 overall prospect for the class of 2016 and the No. 10 offensive tackle. He made the some five-hour drive over from River Ridge, La., with his mother and brother Friday.
“It was real good,” he said. “Not a bad drive. Got in and talked with the coaching staff. Really great experience. Me and Shea got to know each other better.”
Allen, like Patterson, certainly isn’t lacking in recruiting interest. Additional offers include Florida, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Tennessee. Allen said he’s looking for a school with a strong criminal justice program, as well as an opportunity to see the field early and “wherever I feel at home.”
“I’m pretty much talking to everybody,” he said. “I’m open in my recruitment. I’m just going to visit as many schools as I can when I can because it doesn’t last forever. You’ve got to enjoy the process because you can’t get it back.”
Ole Miss is hammering home the opportunity for Allen to play immediately. Junior Rebel left tackle Laremy Tunsil is widely considered a candidate to forgo his final season and enter the 2016 NFL Draft as a potential top-10 pick.
“They said when Laremy leaves, they’re going to need a big tackle to come in and fill his spot,” Allen said, adding he and the Ole Miss coaches “just talked, relaxed and ate some Buffalo Wild Wings” Friday night.
“Had some good barbeque, had a good time getting to know each other.”
Of Ole Miss, Allen said “the campus is beautiful. The people are nice, very welcoming.” He has no set timetable for a decision. Ideally, he’d like to make his choice “maybe a month before signing day.”
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