- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
While the recruiting process has been shifted forward for virtually all high school football players, quarterbacks now face something almost entirely different than their friends and teammates. In the 2013 class, just four of the top 60 combined pocket passers and dual threat quarterbacks remain uncommitted as they begin their senior seasons.
2014 quarterback Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) understands the difference in recruiting tactics at his position and he isn’t going to be caught flatfooted.
“It’s kind of weird for quarterbacks,” he said. “It’s harder to get offers, but when you get them, you have to jump on them. I’m trying to get my homework done quickly and I definitely want to commit before next season -- as early as possible. I’ll know when I’m ready.”
Allen put in plenty of work this offseason, as he took visits across the country to a handful of schools.
“It was awesome,” Allen said of the trips. “It’s always been my dream to talk to these college coaches and take visits. “I was surprised at how many started showing interest, but I worked my tail off last year to put myself in a good position for this.”
He raved about all of his visits. It began with a three-day trip to North Carolina, where he said he spent plenty of time with head coach Larry Fedora and enjoyed the location and scenery. Allen then hit Duke for a one-day camp and Stanford for a two-day camp.
“Stanford is a school I’d like to go to,” he said. “It’s a great academic and great football school. And that’s another beautiful place.”
After Stanford, Allen made the trip to Ohio State, where he spent plenty of time with head coach Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman.
“Coach Herman came down and saw me throw during spring ball,” Allen said. “He wanted me to throw in front of coach Meyer and I impressed him. They had a great camp and I was there for three days and got to tour all the facilities and see the stadium. That’s a crazy football town.”
Allen then visited Los Angeles for a one-day camp at USC and an unofficial visit to UCLA.
Allen said it was strange that North Carolina was his first scholarship offer, as the coaches hadn’t even been out to see him throw this past spring. But that offer was followed by ones from Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Duke, Oklahoma State and UCLA, as Allen now checks in as one of the most sought-after players in Arizona for the 2014 class.
The 6-foot-2, 192-pound quarterback said he keeps in contact with some schools more than others, simply because those schools reach out to him more consistently. But overall, he is trying to keep his options completely open and not yet start to narrow down favorites.
But that doesn’t mean he’ll slow down at all. He’ll be on the road again during the season, as he visited Arizona State for their season-opening win on Thursday night and will travel to UCLA next weekend when the Bruins host Nebraska. After that, Allen has trips scheduled to Oklahoma State when the Cowboys host Texas on Sept. 29, and to Ohio State on Oct. 6, when the Buckeyes take on the Cornhuskers.
Allen said he has a feeling that the Buckeyes could be the next team to offer.
“I talk to coach Meyer and coach Herman every week,” he said. “They’re really looking hard at a quarterback for 2014 and they’re trying to do their homework, but they’ve spoken highly of me. We’ll see what happens.”