ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Wide receiver Devon Allen heard about Michigan as a college choice before he ever considered it as a football program. He excels in academics as a junior at the prestigious Brophy Prep School in Phoenix, and his high school pushes its students to attend top universities like Michigan.
"There are a bunch of kids at my school, which is one of the best schools in the nation, that are thinking about going there," said Allen, who would like to study engineering. "It's one of the big things for me. My dad has instilled that in me."
But it didn't take long for athletic achievements to catch up to his academic achievements.
The receiver caught 44 passes for 844 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior and quickly started gaining attention from college coaches. He has picked up 19 offers from the likes of Michigan, Ohio State and Arkansas.
Allen said he doesn't have any leaders yet. He would like to visit a few schools before being able to rank them. He's hoping to make a trip to Ann Arbor this summer to stay for a few days. He plans on visiting UCLA and either Arkansas or Oklahoma and Oklahoma State during his upcoming spring break.
While most of his interest is coming from West Coast schools, he has picked up quite a few offers from Big Ten schools, which makes his family happy. Allen’s father played a year of football and four years of baseball at Ohio State.
Allen said his connection to the Buckeyes won’t affect his final decision, though.
"He (Allen's father) has been pretty indifferent about it," Allen said. "I haven't really talked to him about it, though. There's no hatred or anything, it's really up to me. He doesn’t have a biased say for Ohio State just because he's from there."
The Wolverines have one receiver committed in the 2013 class, Jaron Dukes (Columbus, Ohio/Marion-Franklin). Dukes is 4 inches taller than the 6-foot Allen, but Allen might have Dukes beat in speed.
The junior holds the top time in the nation for a 2013 receiver in the 3-cone drill (7.69) and is one of the best sprinters on his high school track team.
"My biggest strength is definitely my speed and my ability to make the play when I need to," Allen said. "My size, right now, I’m pretty big for a high school receiver but I’ll get a lot stronger and more muscle mass upon getting to college."
Allen said he won't rush and is going to let the recruiting process play out before he makes a final decision. He wants to find a school that has a good academic standing, an accomplished football program and a campus he could enjoy even without football.
As he gets closer to a decision down the road, he will look at the number of commits in each class, knowing that might be a factor in his decision.
"It's not really a big deal to me because the best receiver will play," Allen said. "I'm willing to work for that spot."