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July 21, 2008
Allen enjoying rise among passing prospects
PAISLEY, Fla. – Drew Allen had one scholarship offer, from pass-happy New Mexico State, before he won the Elite 11 Golden Gun quarterback award in late April at the Fort Worth, Texas, regional workout.
Since then, colleges from the Big 12, SEC, Big Ten and other power conferences have gotten involved in his recruitment, and Allen has options he never dreamed were possible.
Allen, from San Antonio (Texas) Alamo Heights, was all smiles before Monday's workout at the Football University Top Gun Showcase Camp when he talked about his recruitment. After the summer he has had, Allen – a 6-foot-5, 198-pound pro-style quarterback – has a lot to be happy about.
"It's unreal," he said. "It's unbelievable. I'm so happy. People say, 'Are you overwhelmed?' I'm not overwhelmed at all because this is what I wanted. Every kid wants it in high school and I have it.
"I can't complain. It's been a lot of fun. There's a lot of pressure from all the colleges, but I've developed great relationships. All the relationships I've developed, I'd never want to take that back."
Teams sent mail but did not offer after Allen was 174-of-332 passes (52.4 percent) for 2,589 yards with 28 touchdowns and 12 interceptions as a junior. He also rushed for 254 yards and five scores on 53 carries.
Things turned around quickly after he competed at a few spring combines, then put together maybe his best performance yet at the Elite 11 quarterback camp in Fort Worth. Colorado, Duke, Kansas State, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest are some of the programs that have offered.
From not having any offers at the end of his junior season to being in a position to maybe end his recruitment by the time his senior season starts has been a quick turnaround for Allen, who's rated as the 12th best pro-style quarterback in the 2009 class. But he's taking it all in stride.
"I've worked really hard for this, but then again I was really blessed with height, which has helped at quarterback," said Allen, who is ranked 38th in the Texas Preseason Top 100 of 2009. "My dad has always told me God has blessed me with talent and I have to do something with it.
"I didn't want it to be wasted talent just sitting around. I'm happy and glad how everything is going. I would have never dreamed I'd have more than 10 offers, but when it comes to decision time I won't have a bad choice."
Already this summer, Allen has visited Ole Miss, Wake Forest, Duke Colorado, Vanderbilt and Purdue. He also camped at Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Since he plans to make his decision before the season, the recruiting process has speeded up.
Recently, Allen received an e-mail from an Oklahoma assistant asking Allen to call. He planned to do so from the Orlando airport Monday because cell phone service was spotty at the camp. If another offer is on the way, the Sooners would be joining a growing list of interested schools.
Just a few months back, options were at a premium. Allen has learned it's nice to have them.
"I couldn't really think what this would be like," Allen said. "I wasn't really fretting it. I wasn't really like, 'Oh, I wish I had offers' because I kind of had a gut feeling they'd come.
"If football didn't work out for me, which obviously it has, if it wouldn't have worked out for me, I would've gone to a great school for academics and just for school. Now I don't have to worry about that. Football is the way to go now."