"This is when stuff gets crazy."
The SEC recruiting director who told Sports Illustrated as much Thursday afternoon couldn't be more accurate when it comes to college football recruiting. From the coaching carousel starting earlier, to the transfer portal and the normal de-commitment season, it should be a wild stretch to the Early Signing Period in December. Evaluation and communication is wide open and fluidity continues.
Jordan Allen is getting used to it, though.
The Lafayette (La.) Christian Academy defensive back has seen his inboxes fill up since backing off of a longtime pledge to Penn State football in late October.
"It's been good," he told SI. "A lot of schools have been hitting me up again, trying to build that relationship again to get me where they're at."
Among those in communication, Miami, Ole Miss, Georgia and Florida are the most prevalent according to the class of 2022 recruit. Penn State is still "fighting" to have a chance in the end, too, he says.
Allen took official visits to several programs in the summer months, including to Miami, and two more this fall with Penn State and Ole Miss having hosted him.
"The approach has been to come home," he said of Miami. "When I went up there, I felt like I was at home. Based on that official visit, they want me back home."
Assistant coach Demarcus Van Dyke has spearheaded the UM effort, echoing a position projection many of the programs after him agree upon.
"We've been talking for a long time now, ever since he offered me he has been in touch and telling me how I fit into the program," Allen said. "They would like me to go in as a cornerback, but with my versatility, they can see me making plays all over the field."
Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss got the two-sport star, who has clocked sub-11 seconds in the 100 meter dash, on campus most recently for an official visit.
"It was good," he said. "I went up for the (LSU) game. Me and Arch Manning were up there, we were just connecting on another level, just seeing where we want to go to school.
"They say I can play early and make a great impact as a corner and a nickel. Coach (Terrell) Buckley and I have been tight, even after I committed he would just check on me and stuff like that."
The Florida Gators have jumped in the race over the last several weeks, via cornerbacks coach Jules Montinar. Rival Georgia has been in communication even longer and the final official visit of the process could come down to either SEC East program
"I've been talking to Georgia for a long time now, they always stay in touch with me," Allen said. "They want me to take a visit and I will try to get there. UGA seems like a really good school, but I've never really been there. They have put in good work and Kirby Smart has done a great job as the coach. Sounds like a good fit."
After that final visit, with the destination still to be determined, a decision is to be expected. It will likely coincide with the opening of the Early Signing Period on December 15.
Allen, more comfortable as a cornerback despite talk at safety or nickel around his game, says he is searching for a family feel at the school he will sign with.
"I just want to feel comfortable where I'm at, welcomed with open arms wherever I go," he said.
The 6', 182-poud Allen and LCA roll into the Louisiana high school playoffs next week. The Knights earned a Round 1 bye following their 8-1 campaign this fall, in position to defend the Louisiana Division III state championship from 2020.