RIVER RIDGE, La. — When did Willie Allen realize that LSU was the call?
If you ask his mother, Lindsi Godfrey, it was back in mid-December.
Allen, a 6-foot-7, 310-pound four-star offensive tackle, just wrapped up an official visit to UGA, a trip he took by himself.
The John Curtis Christian School product flew to Georgia, then had another hour-and-a-half drive before arriving on the UGA campus.
Between the distance from home and the Bulldogs’ new coaching staff, Allen had already made up his mind up.
“When he came back from UGA after going by himself, and the new head coach (Kirby Smart), it wasn’t as structured as it could have been if they had not gotten rid of coach (Mark) Richt,” Godfrey said. “He had a lot of free time to think about that, too, how far away it was, and when you get off the plane it’s another hour and a half. So he loved UGA, but the coaches moving also had a big part in it.”
On Thursday, the nation’s No. 15 offensive tackle prospect ended a wild recruiting process by placing a purple and gold cap on his head in front of his friends, teammates and coaches, giving the nod to LSU over the likes of TCU and Auburn, among others.
One person was more relieved to see the process come to an end more than Allen, and that was Godfrey.
“It was very stressful,” Godfrey said. “We had to go visit on the weekends, and it was nonstop going, going, going. Jerry and I both work full-time, so we had to leave halfway Friday and go wherever we needed to go. It was stressful to make sure everything was in order, especially when you have two smaller kids at home.”
Godfrey estimated that between 50 and 75 coaches were in their home throughout the process. That includes not only head coaches, but assistants.
“We had a lot of late nights with coaches at our house,” she said. “We’ve seen head coaches from Auburn and Miami and we met with (TCU) coach (Gary) Patterson. And usually, it wasn’t just one coach; it was two, three, four coaches. It’s been a lot.”
With the process now in the rear-view mirror, Godfrey could only smile to see the decision finally be made.
She believes her son can finally enjoy the rest of his senior year now that the pressure is off before National Signing Day in two weeks.
“He was definitely on his own, but we were supportive of him wherever he wanted to go. He went away by himself to UGA, and we went with him to TCU and LSU, and he handled it well. He’s been a little stressed out and just wanted it get it over with.
“He knew where he wanted to go. He just wanted to focus on his senior year here (at John Curtis) and get ready for LSU.”
All player ranking and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.