One of the most coveted linebackers in the state of Texas is Irving MacArthur (TX) product Tariq Allen. In fact, Allen is the highest-ranked linebacker on the M&W/Aggie Websider 2009 Top 100 coming in at No. 16 overall. It’s easy to see why, with offers already from Texas A&M and Oklahoma
One of the most coveted linebackers in the state of Texas is Irving MacArthur (TX) product Tariq Allen. In fact, Allen is the highest-ranked linebacker on the M&W/Aggie Websider 2009 Top 100 coming in at No. 16 overall. It’s easy to see why, with offers already from the likes of Texas A&M and Oklahoma and many other schools hot on his trail. His ranking is certainly backed up by his play on the field, registering 123 tackles, six sacks, and 19 tackles for loss in his junior season.
“I feel my strength is being able to quickly recognize plays and where the ball is going,” Allen said. “I have the ability to sniff out what the offense is trying to do and pursue the ball.”
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker is well-equipped physically to close on the ball and make the play having been timed at 4.65 in the 40 and bench pressing 275 pounds. However, even with his talent and ability, Allen recognizes the need to improve his game before he goes to the next level.
“I’ve been working hard on improving my flexibility and my hip movement,” Allen said. “Overall, I need to improve my lateral movement.”
College coaches have already identified his strong potential at the collegiate level, with teams like Texas, Texas A&M, OU, Boston College, Michigan, Kansas, and California. Allen has already attended junior days at Texas A&M and OU where he gained his first two offers. The Dallas Metroplex native enjoyed his visit to College Station to visit the Aggies.
“I loved it overall,” Allen said. “My parents and I met Coach Sherman and they really liked him. He discussed the pro-style defense they want to run and they are looking to bring in more speed on defense. That fits my game, so I liked hearing that.”
Allen has followed the situation at Texas A&M and is aware of the new direction in the football program. However, he also learned about the academics and the culture at Texas A&M.
“They stressed academics and making sure all the players stay on-top of their schoolwork and graduate,” Allen said. “Overall, I just liked the environment. I felt comfortable there, almost like home.”
Following his trip to College Station, the Irving MacArthur standout made the drive north of the Red River to attend OU’s junior day. The Sooners received high marks as well.
“I liked it too,” Allen said. “It was a little more intense and in-depth than at A&M. It was more business-like and they covered a lot of stuff about the program and what they were looking from recruits and players coming in. Coach Venables is pretty intense. They offered me.”
Allen still has two more junior days to go. He’ll be attending the North Texas event next weekend, and then he’ll go to the Texas junior day on February 23. He’s looking forward to seeing both schools, especially the Longhorns.
“North Texas is rebuilding so I could come in there and help turn it around and get on the field quickly,” Allen said. “I’m looking forward to visiting with Coach Brown and Coach Muschamp and getting to know the coaches at Texas. Growing up in Texas, it’s hard not to follow the Longhorns.”
Allen says that he does not have a timetable for a decision and that he has no leaders on his list, other than the schools heavily pursuing him at the moment. If he’s ready to make his choice during the summer, he’ll commit. If not, he’ll wait until the end of his senior season. He did list the major factors he’ll be looking at when making his final decision.
“First, I want to make sure I fit into the defense and that I have the opportunity to play early,” Allen said. “Second is definitely academics, and third I need to feel comfortable at the university and with my teammates and coaches.”