LSU and Alabama are neck and neck in a dogfight for Louisiana’s top-ranked linebacker.
Things are only going to intensify leading up to National Signing Day.
Christopher Allen, a 4-star outside linebacker from Baton Rouge, La., expects to commit and sign his letter of intent on Feb. 1, 2017. Today, LSU and Alabama are co-leaders, just as they were in July and are expected to be throughout the fall.
Allen hails from Bossier City, La., but has spent the majority of his life in Baton Rouge, not far from Tiger Stadium. Naturally, the thought of playing college football in his hometown in front of his friends and family has captivated the Louisiana star.
“It’s where I’m from. It’s where all of my people are at,” Allen told SEC Country. “It would be nice to play in Tiger Stadium in front of all of them and then to play in a place where I’ve been seeing since I was young. Baton Rouge is basically what I know.”
Alabama held an early advantage over the in-state Tigers throughout the spring — before Allen visited LSU for both of the team’s prospect camps.
Allen was on hand in June and again in July, when he began to forge a bond with then-linebackers coach and current special teams coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto who, along with defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, has taken over his recruitment in place of Cam Cameron.
“After going to their camps, I got to meet the linebackers coach and get a really good feel for him,” Allen said. “I was just thinking that I may just want to stay home.”
That’s what Alabama is trying to prevent.
The Crimson Tide recently nabbed a commitment from 5-star outside linebacker Dylan Moses, who, like Allen, hails from Baton Rouge, in addition to 4-star recruits VanDarius Cowan, Markail Benton and Gary Johnson.
Like LSU, Alabama has continued to push the gas on Allen and pluck one of the best from The Boot and lure him to Tuscaloosa, Ala.
“They’ve said that I could come off the edge like Tim Williams,” who, like Allen, is from Baton Rouge. “Alabama has had success getting guys from Louisiana. Alabama has been telling me that they want me to be the next Louisiana guy. Tim Williams is one of those guys. It’s kind of unbelievable that they’re comparing me to those guys. I’m just wowed when they say that.”
The 6-foot-4, 234-pound target is being courted to play inside on early downs for LSU, then shift outside to rush the passer for Aranda. His ability to drop back in pass coverage was his biggest improvement during the July prospect camp.
That memory stuck in the LSU staff’s head when Miles was fired. Interim coach Ed Orgeron reached out to Allen on that Sunday to remind the highly touted back the team still wanted him.
“Coach O texted me that day, then we got on the phone a couple days later,” Allen said. “LSU is drilling me on staying home and playing for the team that I’ve been watching since I was young.”
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
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