4-Star QB Kyle Allen's Planned Visit to Notre Dame Isn't a Make or Break Moment
Notre Dame doesn't need to feel the pressure to put on the "full-court press" for 4-star quarterback Kyle Allen during his upcoming visit.
Would Allen be a great recruit for the Fighting Irish to land? Sure, especially during this offseason full of "quarterback controversies."
Is Allen a must-have recruit for Notre Dame, though? The answer to that question is a resounding, no.
To be fair to Allen, that answer has nothing to do with his skill set or the potential that he would bring to Notre Dame. He's the No. 5 pro-style quarterback in the nation, as well as the top player from the state of Arizona, both according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Allen will be a marquee pickup for whichever program lands him, but that program does not need to be Notre Dame. For the record, he's planning on visiting South Bend on June 10th and 11th, according to Tyler James of SouthBendTribune.com. Also, for the record, UCLA is the top team on his current 247Sports interest list, followed by Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, West Virginia and Cal.
Allen had this to say about Notre Dame, per James:
"They run a lot of different things depending on what quarterback they have in there," Allen said. "If Tommy Rees is in they'll run some under center stuff. They spread it out with a lot of different formations. But they run the same kind of concepts out of all the different formations.
"They just switch it up and that's what we kind of do at our high school. I talked to (offensive coordinator and quarterbacks) coach (Chuck) Martin about that for a while and we really connected on those kind of things."
That's great news for the Fighting Irish, but still, landing Allen is not a pressing need.
On a surface level, it may seem like Notre Dame is in dire need of another quarterback recruit. Gunner Kiel transferred to Cincinnati, per Joe Schad of ESPN, and Everett Golson is no longer enrolled at Notre Dame due to academic issues, according to ESPN's Matt Fortuna.
Golson threw for 2,405 yards and 12 touchdowns, and ran for six touchdowns last season, per ESPN.com, and he seemed to be the future at quarterback for Notre Dame—so losing him is without a doubt a blow for the Irish's 2013 hopes and aspirations.
That said, Daniel Uthman of USA Today news reports that he's planning on returning for the 2014 season, and if that plan works out he can still have a long-term impact for Notre Dame.
Overreacting to the loss of Golson would also devalue the skill and potential of 2013 dual-threat quarterback and early enrollee Malik Zaire. If anyone, it's Zaire that provides the brightest long-term future for the Fighting Irish.
Zaire is a dual-threat quarterback that can throw just as well as any pocket-passer. He's a lefty with a strong arm and a natural throwing motion, has good footwork in and out of the pocket and can also throw on the run.
He throws the ball with tremendous zip and strength, but he can also put touch on the throw. Either way, he's extremely accurate. He'll hit receivers in stride and throw the ball on a line, putting a tight spiral on his passes.
In addition to his passing abilities, Zaire is a strong runner with long strides , quick feet and vision. He can hit the hole and outrun defenders to open space, but he also has the ability to cut and change direction quickly.
Zaire really stands out because he's not a run-first quarterback. He'll go through his reads and he has plenty of reason to be confident in his arm. He'll run because of the play-call or because the play breaks down, so he really is a complete quarterback.
If Allen doesn't work out for Notre Dame, 3-star dual-quarterback Brandon Dawkins may be the more realistic option 2014. Dawkins actually appeared willing to commit to Notre Dame just recently, per Chris Swanson of 24/7 sports, and his potential commitment would take care of the depth situation behind Zaire.
With Zaire on the roster, the need to heavily pursue a quarterback like Allen just isn't there.
That doesn't mean Kelly and his staff should certainly try to reel him in, but landing him is not a "make or break" situation for Notre Dame.
The sky isn't falling in South Bend.
How important is Allen's upcoming visit to South Bend? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Note: All star rankings courtesy of the 247Sports Composite; All scouting and analysis of Zaire done via tape study of film provided on his 247Sports profile page.
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