Though he plays both offense and defense, Allen was being recruited by Vanderbilt to play on the offensive side. Although offered scholarships by national powers like Ohio State, Miami, Michigan, Stanford and others, Allen made his final decision based on academics.
"Personally from my family background, I'm pushing academics more than anything," Allen told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune last week. "If I can make something out of myself with football, then great. My goal is to become a doctor and do something with my life in that area." Allen has a weighted GPA of 4.3.
In his junior season, he finished with 39 unassisted tackles and nine sacks, as well as 196 receiving yards and a touchdown. This season, he has four catches for 52 yards and a touchdown on offense, and an interception return for a touchdown on defense. A prototype tight end with great speed, he uses his size to great advantage at the high school level, said Venice coach Nick Coleman.
"He's a quiet leader for our team," Coleman told the Herald-Tribune. "He shows by his actions on the playing field. He plays as hard as possible on every play."
"As a defensive player, his quickness was the first thing I noticed," said Larry Blustein, who covers Florida high schools for TheInsiders.com and scouted Allen in person last summer. "He is very tough to block with just one player. He sets his sights on a quarterback or a runner and it's extremely tough to stop him with just one player. He forces the opposition to make adjustments, which is the reason he will play this game at a high level for a very long time."
Allen becomes the sixth public commitment for the Commodores' recruiting class of 2004. The Commodores hope to sign between ten and 13 players in a much smaller than usual signing class. National signing day is the first week of February, 2004. [Below: Brad Allen, left, with his mother and father at the Oct. 18 Vanderbilt-Georgia game.]