It’s amazing the difference a visit can make.
That is the case with four-star outside linebacker Christopher Allen, who took in LSU’s spring practice session on Saturday.
The No. 7 prospect at his position in the Class of 2017, Allen marveled at the style in which the Tigers practice and left impressed by the way the coaches did their jobs.
Allen saw all he needed to see on Saturday to assure that LSU would crack his top three schools.
“They’re definitely like top three,” Allen told SEC Country. “I haven’t made a list yet, but I know that LSU, at worse, is going to be top five. They’re going to be in the mix for sure, you know.”
“It’s for a lot of reasons,” he added. “Just because this is my hometown, my home state where I grew up watching and loving LSU football, and I’m really intrigued with the coaching staff. I like them and I like Coach (Les) Miles, and (I liked) just going to their practice and being able to learn more about how they coach and what type of people they were.”
The visit was Allen’s second to LSU in a month’s span. The 6-foot-4, 222-pounder also attended LSU’s “Boys From The Boot” junior event in mid-February, which came weeks after Allen picked up an offer from Alabama while participating in the Tide’s Junior Day.
The Southern University Lab School (Baton Rouge, La.) product spent much of Saturday paying close attention to the ins and outs of LSU’s practice, gathering further insight just in case he’s in this same position next year.
“It went well,” Allen said. “I got to watch the players practice and hit, and it was fun. I was there for half the practice, so what I saw mostly was the players going over technique. It was nice to see them practice because if I choose to go there, that’s how practice would be. It’s nice to see the players again and the way the coaches interacted with them and to see how it would be if I decide to go to LSU.”
Over the weekend, Allen spoke with both offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron, who wanted to make sure that Louisiana’s No. 4 prospect was excited to be in attendance.
“Of course I was,” Allen laughed.
The elite outside linebacker did not get a chance to speak with LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, though the two have conversed in the past.
Seeing Aranda work his players firsthand proved equally as significant for Allen, who raved about his coaching style and could see himself fitting in naturally.
“I like Coach Aranda,” he said. “His players just get him. He makes sure the players got what they were doing and why they were doing it, and I really liked it … I spoke with him in the past and he explained how they (LSU) would use me and how his team works. He thinks I could play middle linebacker like half the time and on third down or long passing situations, bring me to (defensive) end.
“Basically, what his defense does is blitz a lot and create confusion for the offensive line. Basically, they want to use me as a blitzer and pass-rusher. And I think he can make me into even a better player than I think I could be in college to be honest.”
Allen could not overstate the importance that coaching style will play in his decision-making process.
Football is a game that can be decided with intelligence, he explained, and he wants to find the right set of coaches that will help give him that edge.
“It’s very important,” Allen said of coaching style. “You can be an athlete, but if the guy across the line of scrimmage has a mental edge over you, then it’s going to be very tough for you to beat him.
“I have to see how practices would be and how the coaches handle the players and teach the players technique and stuff like that. I think this weekend was a big advantage (for LSU), and I’m glad I got to see it to be honest.”
All rankings are according to the 247Sports Composite