LA MARQUE, Texas — It was assumed that Utah would gain some distinct recruiting advantages because of its new Pac-12 affiliation. According to recent Ute commit Brian Allen two factors — top competition and a raised academic profile — were crucial parts of his decision.
Allen is a 6-foot-3, 187-pound wide receiver who elected to commit to Utah over schools such as Wyoming, Nevada, UTEP and North Texas. His lack of other BCS conference offers made Utah a clear favorite.
Allen committed to Ute coaches following their in-home visit with him this past Monday.
“I love the coaches at Utah and I love everything about the program,” he said. “It’s easily the best place for me as a football program, but more importantly, it’s the best place for me with academics.”
When Utah first started contacting Allen he took immediate interest — knowing about its affiliation with the Pac-12. “I want to play against the best at the next level and the Pac-12 — playing in the Pac-12 provides that opportunity,” he said.
Recently Allen took an official visit to Utah, where he was able to take in all of what Utah had to offer. During his trip he was able to take part in a lot of activities, and eat a lot of great food while getting to know the Ute football program up close and personal.
What stood above all else, however, wasn’t the food or the fun.
“The highlight was being able to tour the engineering building they have there and learn more about that program,” said Allen. “Academics are the most important thing for me and Utah has everything I need to offer — it was great seeing how much emphasis they put on academics and I want to major in engineering, so seeing all that they had to offer me as a student really helped me know that Utah was where I needed to be.”
While on his trip he was able to meet a lot of the current and future players at Utah. He was also able to meet with head coach Kyle Whittingham, for the first time, and came away very impressed.
“Coach Whittingham is a great coach that doesn’t help his players to just succeed in football, but in school too,” said Allen. “I love how he stresses academics and talks about how important it is because it is important — the most important thing about going anywhere to play.”
With regard to football, Allen will play at wide receiver while at Utah. With the offensive staff in flux due to Norm Chow’s departure, it may have caused some concern with some recruits, but Allen certainly isn’t one of them.
“I didn’t think about that at all and haven’t thought about it,” he said about Utah’s offensive staff changes. “I believe in coach Whittingham and I know he’ll have a great offense there when I play — there’s no concerns at all there. I couldn't be more excited to be part of Utah's program.”
Along with Brian Allen’s commit, Utah also gained a commitment from Greg Allen, who hails from the Houston area along with Brian. Greg Allen is a 5-foot-11, 180-pound defensive back recruit who was offered by Memphis and New Mexico according to utezone.com.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @BrandonCGurney
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company