HERSHEY, Pa. — Sporting a white Penn State visor, Wise High (Upper Marlboro, Md.) defensive back Marcus Allen walked the HersheyPark Stadium turf looking for teammates and future teammates alike.
A senior-to-be, the PSU Class of 2014 commit could not play in Saturday's Big 33 Classic, but that didn't stop him from traveling north to Hershey for a weekend getaway with his family. Wise teammates Antonio Harris, Jai Franklin, Mules Humphrey and D'Angelo Niler suited up for Maryland. And Wise head coach DaLawn Parrish was an assistant coach for the red and white.
Combined with a gaggle of Maryland players he also knows from surrounding high schools, it was an easy decision to attend the game.
"I wanted to support my teammates," Allen said. "I actually didn't know about it [the Big 33] until I got here and saw the tradition, and how meaningful it is to the whole Pennsylvania area and everything. It's a big game."
Checking in at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Allen has kept a steady diet of training and preparing for his final high school season since committing to Penn State May 10. When not training, though, he's busy recruiting for the Lions.
His main target is Gilman School (Baltimore, Md.) defensive back Troy Vincent, who holds Penn State in high regard and may be nearing a decision. Allen says he tries not to prod his training partner at PrimeXample defensive back training, but also sees a potential quality addition to State's class.
"I've talked to him a good bit, and I don't want to seem like I'm bugging him or anything, but I still want to make sure I get him on board," Allen explained. "I feel like it's a great fit for him, and it's not like he won't know anybody, so that's what I'm trying to do.
"I think it's a good chance that he comes to Penn State."
When not chatting up Vincent or hitting the weights, Allen can often be found talking to the Nittany Lions' other Class of 2014 Allen. Mark Allen, that is.
State's first commit for the class in October 2012, the DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) running back and Marcus Allen have held a close bond since both began their sophomore school year. It continues to grow with each passing day that they are on track to attend Penn State next summer.
"We are really cool," Marcus Allen said. "He's my little man. Like he said, there's going to be an Allen on offense and an Allen on defense (at PSU), so that's pretty cool. He's the main person I talk to."
One final season awaits both prospects, and for Marcus Allen, the summer leading up to it has been spent working on fundamentals. He can frequently be found practicing tackling and defensive back drills, and he says the goal of each of those endeavors is to progress to the point where he is ready to get going as soon as he arrives at University Park.
A plethora of Saturday games will make it difficult to attend a Penn State home game come fall, making a summer visit to PSU a priority. Whether or not he makes it, though, he knows a season without the stress of being recruited and searching for a school is coming. He believes that will allow him to focus on having a successful senior campaign.
"I'm working on getting better on my form tackling, highest point skills, and everything with interceptions to just keep getting better as an overall player," Allen said. "I'm excited for our first game (against Douglas). It's going to be under the lights, and I just want to ball out the game and the rest of the season.
"It's going to feel good, and it's a weight off my shoulders. I'm just going to play hard, and just feel free to play football."