Members of the LSU coaching staff are hoping to land a commitment from the nation’s No. 7 outside linebacker, but they may have to wait all the way until February before that wish comes to fruition.
Coming off a second planned visit to LSU over the weekend, four-star prospect Christopher Allen of Southern University Lab School (Baton Rouge, La.) continues to analyze his list of top schools, which includes LSU as well as Alabama, Florida, Texas and Michigan.
While no school has separated itself as a clear-cut No. 1 choice, Allen has an idea of which schools are leading, but knows the process is far from complete.
“I haven’t decided or set up a list, but I know that they’re (LSU) top-three,” Allen told SEC Country. “A lot depends on how they play this upcoming season.”
The 2016 college football season may ultimately wind up as the decisive factor in the 6-foot-4, 222-pounder’s commitment, which means there is more on the line for the aforementioned national powerhouses this year other than a berth in the College Football Playoff.
With so much riding on the outcome of the 2016 season, Allen doesn’t expect a commitment until after it comes and goes.
In fact, Louisiana’s No. 4 overall prospect could very well see himself deciding on National Signing Day.
“I could take it to signing day or somewhere close to that,” Allen said. “I know that I’m 70 percent sure that I’m not going to make a decision during or before the season. Most likely, it’s going to be after the season or on National Signing Day. Yeah, I could make the decision on signing day.”
Signing Day is slated for Feb. 1, 2017, which gives Allen upward of 10 months to make up his mind.
LSU has already cracked the Baton Rouge, La., native’s top three, and the Tigers checked off a couple more boxes over the weekend when Allen took in the Saturday scrimmage.
“I wanted to see more of the defense and how Coach (Dave) Aranda was coaching his players, whether he was a hands-on kind of guy,” Allen said. “I really think he was at the point and real active with the players. (I’m looking for a coach who) teaches, but also he makes sure that I know what I’m doing and doesn’t go onto the next thing.
“I like how he (Aranda) is a hands-on coach and makes sure that everyone gets with what he’s teaching, and he’s a good guy.”
Equally as significant, the elite defender believes he’s a perfect match for Aranda’s scheme.
The LSU coaches told Allen he fits the mold as stud middle linebacker Kendell Beckwith, and that he would be used identically in order to maximize all his skills on all four downs.
“I think I fit in well,” Allen explained. “They said they’re going to use me like Kendell Beckwith. On first and second down, they’d put me at middle (linebacker), and on third down I’d rush the passer depending on the down and distance.
“I want to show that I can play any position on the field and any position my coach puts me at. It feels great, honestly, because I feel wanted, and it’s great for a coaching staff to view you highly as a player.”
LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron continued to court Allen over the weekend and gauge the chances of an early commitment, but that doesn’t line up with the prized linebacker’s timeline.
The elite defender has made two trips to LSU’s spring practices thus far and is hoping to get back to Tuscaloosa, Ala., at some point for a return visit. He hopes to make stops at UGA and Florida, as well.
As he did over the weekend at LSU, Allen wants to continue analyzing coaching staffs up close and personal.
Aranda has already proven he fits the bill, setting the bar for the other SEC and national college football powers to try and match.
“I want to see how the coaches, whether they’re hands-on or not, because that’s very important,” Allen said. “I feel like I learn best with someone who is more hands-on rather than stuck in the meeting room talking, saying this and saying that, then expecting things to happen on the field. That’s what I’m looking for in a coach.”
All rankings are according to the 247Sports Composite