Over this past weekend, San Jose State landed the commitment of its quarterback target, Sam Allen of Victor Valley Community College. Allen officially visited SJSU and made his commitment to the program as a mid-year transfer.
Allen spent one semester in junior college before heading to the FBS level. He now has four years to play three.
“They’ve been recruiting me for about close to two months now,” Allen explained. “They offered me a scholarship about week six in the season. I went on a visit this weekend and they treated me really well and really showed me what it’s like to be a Spartan. I had an awesome time on the visit and I enjoyed the coaching staff a lot, that’s what really has me so sold on San Jose State. I committed this weekend and I appreciate everything they’ve done for me so far.”
Allen is a quarterback that is considered a perfect fit for what SJSU Offensive Coordinator Al Borges wants to do at the position. He is an athletic player who can use his legs when necessary, but whose game is primarily focused on his throwing abilities and command of the offense.
Borges was the primary recruiter for the Spartans’ primary quarterback target in the 2016 class. Allen appreciated Borges’s straight-forward personality.
“It’s been awesome,” Allen said. “I can’t think of a better quarterback coach and offensive coordinator. I would say he’s at least one of the top guys out there to this day and probably has the most experience out of all of them. Coach Caragher took the time to come down and visit me, get to know me and talk to me. They recruited me so hard and so well and I had such a great chemistry with the coaches. When I went out there, it felt right. It felt like I was their guy and I was sold completely.”
Allen has only lost one semester of eligibility by going the junior college route, but his path has had many twist and turns in a short amount of time.
Allen landed on the radar of several schools on the East Coast in his junior year of high school. He played for Fork Union Military Academy - a boarding school in Virginia that typically sends double digit recruits to the FBS level every year. Some recent names include Cardale Jones and Carlos Hyde of Ohio State.
Just prior to Allen’s first game of his senior year, however, he came down with mononucleosis. The illness cost him virtually his entire senior season.
“I had a really solid junior year and I had a lot of promising looks,” Allen said. “Going into my senior year things were looking really well. Then I got mono the first game and I missed my senior season. All the schools dropped off on me. Things were pretty rough. I told my parents I was going to go the JuCo route.”
Allen had many junior colleges reach out to him and he decided on Victor Valley CC in Southern California after a visit.
It took only one semester of junior college ball to prove to college coaches that he was ready for the FBS level. According to CCCAASports.com, Allen finished his freshman year with 2,987 yards and 32 touchdowns compared to 14 interceptions in 11 games. He ran for 9 more touchdowns.
“I’m a student of the game,” Allen said of his game. “I’m a film rat. I like to study the game as much as I can. If I had to compare myself in terms of playstyle, I might compare myself to an Aaron Rodgers. I’m a throw-first guy, but if I have to I can extend plays and the last thing I want to do is take off running. I’m very mobile and I can run if I have to, but I can stay in the pocket. Coach Borges told me he wants a quarterback who ‘runs for yards, but throws for miles.’ So that’s the quarterback I want to be.”
Allen comes from a spread offense at Victor Valley, but has commanded pro-style offense and even option offenses in his high school experiences.
“They’re going to play to the strengths of their players,” Allen said. “I’m stronger in the gun, but I can play under center. I like the fact that they run soem pro style offense too because I want a chance to make it to the next level after this. You need experience under center to really make it to the next level.”
Other schools that have reached out to Allen include Eastern Michigan, Hawaii and Nevada. Eastern Michigan did not have a scholarship available and Nevada was ready to pull the trigger had another QB recruit decided elsewhere, Allen said. Hawaii recently hired Nick Rolovich as its head coach from Nevada, who is actively trying to persuade Allen to the islands.
However, Allen told InsideTheSpartans.com, “I have committed to San Jose State, I have a very strong interest in them and I have no doubt I’ll be a Spartan. I’m going to San Jose State.