On Friday morning, we received news that the Toledo Rockets were expecting another commitment. Hours later, defensive back Jamal Allen of Livonia, Mich. gave head coach Jason Candle his word. Allen becomes the seventh Rocket commitment in the past week as the Rockets continue to build a championship future in the Glass City.
Allen is not your typical three-star recruit. Instead, the Michigan native has been highly sought after by several programs around the country including interest from Iowa, Kentucky, and Michigan State. However, Allen saw the bright future in Toledo and will now have a chance to play very quickly in his collegiate career.
"I just spoke to my family and we thought it was about time we committed," Allen said on the timing of his decision.
"My family and Toledo have an amazing relationship and bond," Allen told us, "My parents love the coaching staff, we love everything about it."
The six-foot, 196-pound defensive back, who could play both cornerback or safety, will provide tremendous speed in the Rocket secondary with his 4.45 40-yard dash explosiveness. Not only that, but Allen also has the ability to be a hard hitter at the next level and is great in run support as well.
When we spoke to Allen in May, he told us Toledo was still his number one school because of the coaching staff and the relationship he has obtained with them. Allen recorded seven interceptions and 60 tackles as a junior in 2015 at Churchill High School along with fifteen tackles for loss and four interceptions for a touchdown return. Allen, who has been recruited both at defensive back and wide receiver by some programs, says Toledo could have him play both sides of the ball but he prefers defense.
"The foundation and what family means to the team," Allen told us back in late April on what he likes about the Rockets, "The coaching staff is really friendly as well and very straight forward."
Allen held official offers from nearly every Mid-American Conference program including Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Miami (OH), Kent State, Ohio, and Western Michigan. However, Allen also landed an offer from the Kentucky Wildcats in late March as well.
The Rockets have landed a potential lockdown defensive back in Jamal Allen. Especially with the help of a tremendous cornerbacks coach in Cory Robinson, Allen should grow extremely well in Toledo over the next few seasons. The Rockets have built the 2017 Class in order to pursue Mid-American Conference championships, year in and year out, Allen will help them do so.
"We have a very special class coming in and signing in 2017, I'm really looking forward to it," Allen told us.