Allen said that Stanford has a "really good" chance of making that list.
"I really like Stanford because they're obviously a very prestigious academic school, which is always good," Allen said. "You want to be well educated and set up for life after football if you don't make it big time. I think Stanford definitely has that to offer. Furthermore, Stanford's campus is great and it's in a great location, from what I've heard. I've never been there but I've looked at some pictures online and the campus looks really cool and they're also a football program on the rise."
Another factor that might be to the Cardinal's advantage is that Allen has a good chance of contending for early playing time should he end up at Stanford. In recent years the Cardinal have done a very good job of recruiting talented players at the defensive tackle position, leaving an opportunity for interior lineman in the 2010 class to star early.
"Obviously, nothing is guaranteed and you have to work to win any position, but they've mentioned to me that they are in desperate need of defensive lineman and that is something I do take heed of," Allen said.
Because of that, the Stanford coaching staff is putting the full court press on Allen and his family.
"I talk to mostly [offensive line coach] Tim Drevno and Coach Harbaugh," Allen said. "They've been also communicating well with my mom and dad, which I like. It's good to have your parents on board. The coaches seem like really good guys. I've only met Coach Drevno in person and he's good to talk to, and I'm looking forward to meeting some of the other coaches."
Because of Allen's status as a priority recruit as a position of need, the Stanford coaching staff has been more than willing to let him take his time in making a decision. While this year's Cardinal recruiting class only has a few spots remaining, it appears that the staff would accept the four-star prospect's commitment anytime.
"I kind of mentioned to them early on in the process that I was probably going to make my decision after my senior football year and they were fine with that," Allen said. "They were supportive in saying that I should take my five official visits and everything."
Although Minnesota isn't known as a traditional hotbed of high school football talent, the Cardinal actually already have a commitment to the 2010 class from a Minnesotan in linebacker A.J. Tarpley, who happens to star for a rival high school.
"He actually goes to kind of our rival school," Allen said. "They're in our conference and there's not a lot of love lost between our teams, but A.J. is a really good guy and he's a really good player."
Interestingly, Tarpley isn't the only connection Allen has to Stanford. Former Cardinal great and NFL player Willie Howard worked with Allen a few times over the summer.
"I actually do know Willie Howard, who's kind of a coaching mentor of mine," Allen said. "I did some work with him in the offseason and he's a really good defensive tackle, so I talked to him a little bit about Stanford. Like I said, he's also been one of those good solid guys."
So while Allen is clearly familiar with some of what Stanford has to offer, Palo Alto is still almost 2,000 miles from Allen's home in Minnesota. At this point, Allen is not quite sure if that distance will impact his decision, but hopes to gauge his comfort with being so far away from home when he takes some visits to the West Coast next fall.
"I haven't really thought too much about distance from Minnesota," Allen said. "That's kind of something that I've got to think about a little more as I go down the line. I think once I visit schools like Stanford, I'll be able to measure that a little better."
And if Allen likes what he sees enough to make Stanford his college home, he should have no problem passing through the school's admissions process. A likely business major, Allen is an excellent student who scored a 28 on the ACT to go along with a 3.6 weighted GPA.
Allen is ranked the 20th best defensive tackle prospect in the 2010 class by Scout.com and the 41st best at that position by Rivals.com.
Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our award-winning website. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com (sign-up)!