Allen Straddling SEC Fence

After a visit to Baton Rouge last month it appears Dominique Allen, a 6-foot, 250-pound fullback from Henry County High School, is revisiting his decision to commit to Tennessee.

Allen came away from his visit impressed by the program and intrigued by the manner in which LSU offensive coordinator Gary Crowton uses the fullback in the Tigers' offense. Now he is reportedly a soft UT commitment if not uncommitted.

That means Tennessee has some more work to do to seal the deal come next February. If the Vols are unable to convince Dominique Allen to recommit they will likely take a look at other available fullbacks in the market.

In addition to possibly losing a quality in-state fullback, the Vols could be losing a key recruiter, since Allen has been trying to convince Henry County teammate Marsalis Teague to join him on The Hill next year. Presumably he won't be making too many sales pitches on UT's behalf for the time being, it at all.

Outside of Marlon Brown from Memphis Harding Academy, Teague may be the best unsigned in-state prospect in the Class of 2009. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound athlete plays quarterback in high school, and is attracting attention as a sprint option type QB by Michigan. He could also play cornerback or at wide receiver as his 4.45 speed gives him gives him wide application.

Teague has received 13 offers, chief among the early contenders is Miami, of which he has been a lifetime fan, but Clemson, Michigan, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt are all being considered for official visits this fall.

Teague is expected to announce his final five before Henry County's season begins. The Vols are pushing hard for a visit and would like to add both Henry County stars to their 2009 signing class. And retaining Allen, while no guarantee of signing Teague, would certainly be another factor in the Vols' favor.

Beyond the immediate and long range consequences of losing this pair of prospects, it would also be another setback to the Vols in-state recruiting efforts which have fallen short of the their success beyond the Volunteer State. Only three of Tennessee's 17 commitments are in-state prospects, and one of those is Allen whose status is indeterminate.

UT lost the state's top two offensive linemen and top 300 prospects, Austin Long, of Briarcrest Christian, to Georgia, and Alex Bullard, of Brentwood Academy, to Notre Dame. Long is rated the nation's No. 10 offensive tackle by Scout.com and Bullard is ranked No. 5. among offensive guards.

The Vols also have outstanding offers to the state's No. 1 prospect Marlon Brown of Harding Academy, Eric Gordon, a four-star defensive back from Nashville Hillsboro, Greg King, a linebacker from Memphis Melrose and Thad McHaney, a tight end/defensive end from Brentwood Academy.

The Vols fell out of contention for Knoxville Catholic High School tight end Daniel Hood, who is rated the nation's No. 19 prospect at his position. He is expected to choose from Auburn, Colorado, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Mississippi, Stanford and Virginia Tech. Another Knoxville offensive lineman to receive interest but no offer from the Vols is Will Jackson of Farragut High School. Ranked the nation's No. 25 guard prospect nationally by Scout.com, he recently committed to Georgia Tech.

Recovering Domiique Allen would help put UT into a Volunteer State of mind for the stretch drive of an all important recruiting campaign.


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