Get to Know 2016: Willie Allen

Feb. 14 -- The Louisiana offensive line prospect is the nation's #5-ranked offensive tackle and perhaps the biggest offensive line fish UCLA has pursued recently...

Evaluation:
Allen is the #5-ranked offensive tackle in the country for a reason. He has college-ready size – halfway through his junior season and, what’s most impressive, at 6-7 and 300 pounds he hasn’t gone through a quickness or coordination transition in getting that big. He’s very unique in being able to move like a guy much smaller. Probably is best trait is his explosiveness off the ball in run blocking. He uses that straight-ahead quickness to stun his opponent. Allen has decent bend for a guy his size and moves laterally pretty well, but he’s probably a little more advanced in his run blocking than pass blocking. He’s a little top-heavy, similar a bit to current Bruin Simon Goines, but with probably more lateral athleticism. On the next level he would probably get a shot at left tackle but might be better suited at the right tackle spot.

Recruitment:
UCLA Offer Allen’s recruitment is already in high gear. He has offers from the nation’s elite programs. Alabama has him as a top-priority target. Florida State, Michigan, Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee and always-present LSU are already all over Allen. So, UCLA is going to have a huge, long-haul battle for Allen. UCLA Offensive Line Coach Adrian Klemm, though, is a very accomplished recruiter and he’s already had his sights on Allen, having already notched some visits to John Curtis Christian to see Allen and build a rapport. It helps that ex-Curtis Christian linebacker Kenny Young did well as a true freshman last season at UCLA and is reportedly enjoying his experience as a Bruin so he can help recruit Allen and make him feel comfortable with a potential move to L.A. Allen has plans to visit UCLA this summer, which is always a big thing; if an out-of-state recruit actually visits UCLA the summer before his senior year on his own dime most of the time that means he has legitimate interest. Klemm has done well recruiting out-of-state OLs since he’s been at UCLA, but this will be the biggest fish he’s gone after since being at UCLA. UCLA will be a different option for Allen – that plus the recruiting talent of Klemm – will probably have UCLA in the Allen sweepstakes until the end.


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