As Corona (Calif.) Centennial’s Manuel Allen was growing up, he envisioned himself in a No. 5 jersey.
The 6-foot-2, 170-pound 2018 athlete emulated USC's Reggie Bush, dashing and darting while playing Pop Warner football. He still wears the No. 5 while playing for his 7-on-7 team and with Centennial.
“I always looked up to Reggie Bush,” Allen said. “I always used to act like I was Reggie Bush, played like Reggie Bush. [USC] was always one of the schools I always wanted to go to.”
And now he has a chance to follow his boyhood idol to USC after receiving an offer from the Trojans after a strong performance at USC’s Skills Camp on Saturday.
“I had a feeling it was coming. I didn’t really know it was coming today, but I felt great about it. It’s a big offer for me.”
Allen was one of the standout receivers in the morning period. He was able to create separation and he was one of the better receivers at going up to get the ball, even when defenders were able to keep up with him. That’s what Allen believes made him stand out to the USC coaching staff.
“They just loved my route running, my performance and that I’m aggressive and I’m explosive off the ball and that I have good hands,” Allen said. “I compare myself to A.J. Green. That’s how I feel.”
But before the camp broke for lunch, Allen made a change. He had been one of more impressive receivers, but thought he could show more. He switched over to the defensive side and played some cornerback and safety.
The Trojans told him they were going to recruit him as an athlete because they believe he could play receiver or safety. On either side of the ball, Allen could make an impact. He’s just excited about having an offer from a dream school where his boyhood idol played.
“It’s big. It’s perfect and I would put that in my top three, if I had a top three.”
Check out Manuel Allen's training and highlight video: