ATHENS — A month ago, right after he got back from the U.S. Army All-American Game, one of the first things Pat Allen did was de-commit to Georgia.
He had long been bethrothed to the Bulldogs. But over the Christmas break offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and line coach Will Friend left for Colorado State.
It was a fairly bit deal for the 6-foot-5, 286-pound tackle from Reisertown, Md., who had planned to tutor under the two men in Athens.
“The whole thing was I was comfortable with the school in general,” Allen said Wednesday. “When Coach Friend and Coach Bobo left, I tried to not let that affect me, even though it did a little bit. Coach Friend was going to be my position coach and the fact that he left kind of bothered me. So I de-committed so that way I could wait and see who was going to be coaching me.”
That answer was not long in coming as the Georgia coach Mark Richt hired Brian Schottenheimer from the St. Louis Rams to run the offense and Rob Sale from McNeese State to coach the O-line. One of Sale’s first assignments was to get up to Maryland and meet with Allen.
“It only took, like, two or three weeks. “I met Coach Sale and was very energetic, very excited to meet me. He was just telling me who he was what he was about and stuff like that. And then it took maybe another two weeks before I met Coach Schottenheimer. I met him and I could really relate to him because he came from St. Louis and that’s where I’m originally from. So that went well.”
In the meantime, Florida and Penn State regained ground with the big tackle, who led Franklin High to its only two state championships the last two years. In the end, though, Allen’s affections for Mark Richt and UGA never wavered.
A Good One for Georgia
“Georgia did a great job of, as soon as they hired Coach (Rob) Sale, getting him up here for a weekly visit,” Franklin High coach Anthony Burgos said. “That gave him an opportunity to just be around Pat and try to build a relationship and communicate. It’s still not where it should be, but it’s close enough. He knows Georgia is a good place and he’s pretty confident in Coach Richt. Coach Richt is one of the longest-tenured head coaches in the country, so he’s confident with that. At the end of the day, he always wanted to be a Georgia Bulldog.”
And the Georgia Bulldogs always wanted Allen. Burgos said UGA recruited him specifically to play left tackle.
“Because of his skill set and his athleticism, he’s prime and ready to be a left tackle,” Burgos said. “Now Georgia will probably want to get him in their strength and conditioning program and get a little more weight on him. But he’s just so athletic, I think he’s going to be a left tackle.
“He’s going to be a good one for Georgia.”
Great Character, Great Class
Allen said he hasn’t had time to keep up with all the recruiting drama that swirled around Georgia and other SEC schools on Wednesday. He took a job just this week at a local grocery store as a stock clerk and he’s trying to make a little money before he heads to UGA in June.
But Allen did say he believes that most people are overlooking the best thing about the Bulldogs’ recruiting class, and that’s that they have gotten better on the lines of scrimmage.
“Talking about great character, he actually just started a new job,” said Burgos, who has won back-to-back state championships with Allen as his left tackle. “A lot of kids would just be enjoying the moment. This kid just started working a new job and is trying to help his parents out. He’s just a hard-working kid who loves his family and wants to do whatever he can to help them.”
Burgos believes Allen is going to help the Bulldogs as well. He believes the 4-star prospect projects as a left tackle in the SEC.
“It’s monstrous,” he said of Georgia’s 2015 class. “I mean, Trent Thompson, Trez Patrick, all them guys on defense, me, Sage (Hardin), DeVontre (Seymour) and Madden those other guys on offense. We’re gonna be strong up front. It should be a great class.”
Certainly better with Pat Allen in it.