Willie Allen is one of those offensive linemen who just looks like he's destined for greatness. After reportedly announcing that he will play college football at LSU on Friday, there's a large fanbase certainly hoping that's the case.
Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports reported the news.
Per 247Sports, Allen is the No. 15 offensive tackle and the 149th-ranked player overall in the 2016 recruiting class. The Louisiana native was being heavily courted by the usual SEC powers as well as a few top programs around the South, including Florida State.
As much as Allen looks the part of a superstar tackle, he's got a long development path ahead. His scouting report from ESPN Recruiting Nation labels him as a player with a world of talent and a lack of refinement: "Allen is a raw prospect who has the size to be a strong contributor at the next level. Comes from a good, successful HS program. He has a high ceiling and once he refines his skill, he should become a valuable asset for a team."
Allen has been on the recruiting radar for a long time, even receiving a full scholarship offer from LSU in 2014. According to James Smith of the Times-Picayune in February 2014, it wasn't a surprise to see the John Curtis prep star generating that kind of interest: "The John Curtis football program produces Division I prospects at a rate that is matched by few. The Patriots don't simply rebuild, rather, they groom the next group of young men in an effort to have them ready when their time comes."
Even though the risk of a player who is all ceiling at this stage is high, Allen possesses the type of talent that can change an entire offensive line. There's always the chance that potential never gets realized, but that's what makes recruiting so eventful.
The key to turning potential into performance is having a good starting base. An offensive tackle who is already 6'7 ½" and 300 pounds with long arms and legs is a terrific package to work with. It all comes down to his ability to adapt and for the coaches to find ways to maximize that talent.
All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.