The Iowa Hawkeyes have been building some serious momentum on the recruiting trail for the past several months. That comes with the territory of climbing into the top-5 nationally. But things have really taken off over the last week or so as Iowa looked to close out their class of 2022 with several big name recruits.
One such name was Brian Allen Jr. The Chicago native has had a long relationship with the Hawkeyes, but has been on a wild ride over the last year or so. Allen spent his junior and senior seasons at St. Thomas More in Connecticut, where he had Jason Manson as coach for a time. That meant he needed a waiver from the NCAA to be able to accept an offer from the University of Iowa after the Hawkeyes added Manson as Director of Player Development last year.
While that was being sorted out, Allen saw his recruitment begin to blossom. It started with a commitment to Bret Bielema and the Illinois Fighting Illini back in August when Allen wanted to be committed before his senior season started up. But when he de-committed from Illinois in October, things really started to take off with several schools showing interest. Chief among them was Oregon and then head coach Mario Cristobal.
That led to a longer timetable for a re-commitment from Allen. In the meantime, his recruiting profile continued to rise with Rivals jumping him to a 4-star rating after an impressive senior season.
On signing day, this chapter of the story ended, as Allen announced his commitment and signed his letter of intent to play for Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes.
So what are the Hawkeyes getting from this defensive end prospect they’ve been involved with for so long? In short a talented edge rusher who is stout against the run and has all the makings of a future defensive end for Kelvin Bell and Phil Parker.
He has a great frame at 6’4”. At 245 pounds as a high school senior, Allen is likely to add 25-35 pounds at the next level, but he’s going to get an early start on that. After wrapping up prep school at St. Thomas More, Allen intends to enroll at semester so will be in Iowa’s offseason workouts beginning mid-January. That gives him a leg up on building on his frame heading into his true freshman season.
On the field, he shows good initial burst off the line with solid hand placement. He has a good combination of power and speed with several clips showing a dominant bull rush as a prep. That may be a bit more difficult at the next level without adding bulk, but his inside hands give him good leverage and there’s little doubt Bell and Parker can work to further improve his technique. Allen also shows a nice little rip move to beat his man around the corner and is solid in the run game as well.
After Allen re-opened his recruiting following the August commitment to Illinois, he continued to add to his extensive list of offers. Coming into signing day, the list was trimmed to Iowa and Oregon, but Allen held offers from Iowa State, Kansas, Purdue, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and a slew of mid-majors in addition to the aforementioned Iowa, Illinois and Oregon.
Allen is one of three defensive linemen in the class as of his announcement. The Hawkeyes are likely to take another defensive end prospect this cycle, though that may come in the form of a transfer, junior college prospect or another class of 2022 prep product. He joins Palatine wide receiver Jacob Bostick as one of two prospects from the state of Illinois this cycle.
Welcome to the Iowa Hawkeyes Brian Allen, Jr.!