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Wednesday, May 8, 2013
2014 PSU spotlight: S Marcus Allen

By Josh Moyer

Heading into summer, NittanyNation will look closer at the 2014 recruits who claim offers from Penn State. Today we examine safety Marcus Allen, who was on campus last month for the Blue-White Game.

Vitals: Safety Marcus Allen, Upper Marlboro (Md.) Wise, 6-foot-2, 190 pounds

Offers: He now holds more than 20, with his most recent coming from UConn and Purdue. Some of the top schools to offer him include Clemson, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Vanderbilt.

Numbers game: He finished his junior season with 69 tackles (39 solo), two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a pair of recovered fumbles. He also deflected nine passes -- all through 13 games.

Memorable highlight: If you have any questions about Allen's run support, just turn to the 3:49 mark of this highlight tape. Around the offense's own 5-yard line, Allen shows he's blitzing -- but there's little the offense could do. He pancakes a blocker, who barely slows him up, and runs straight toward the option QB. He showed great strength and pursuit and helped tackle the ball-carrier near the sideline.

State of the position: Defensive back is a point of emphasis in this class, and Penn State will likely take at least two more commits here. Both of last year's starting safeties -- Malcolm Willis and Stephen Obeng-Agyapong -- will graduate next offseason, so recruits here could be in line for some early playing time.

What has caught Penn State's eye: In short, PSU believes he's capable of playing early. He has great size for a safety, shows good range and he has a high ceiling. He's a longtime linebacker, and he only became comfortable at safety this past season. He's a hard-hitting DB who can reportedly run in the mid-4.5s, and that's intriguing to this PSU staff.

What are Penn State's chances? The Nittany Lions appear to be the favorite right now, but Pitt's also a strong contender because of some family connections there. Rutgers, N.C. State, Georgia Tech and Maryland are all in the running, but PSU should have the advantage. The longer he takes to decide, the less likely he is to commit to PSU. But right now the staff should feel good with where it stands.

Quotables: "They showed me the depth chart and said I could make an impact. They didn't say I would get a starting position -- no school would tell me that -- but they said the opportunity to play early is really high. So I know if I work my butt off in the weight room and classroom, then I can get that job."