LeQuint Allen is a rock solid recruiting win for Dino Babers and the Orange, who dip into a familiar pipeline state in New Jersey for their latest class of 2022 commitment. The Millville (N.J.) two-way prospect has versatile projection options at 6-foot, 185 pounds or so, but there is little doubt he is most comfortable at running back and with the ball in his hands in general.
The junior is a natural in the backfield, specializing in one-cut ability, breaking tackles and chunk yardage thanks to well above average vision. Successful backs know when to press and play patiently, something Allen's instincts allow given the play-call, something that pairs well with a general quickness and ability to make the primary tackler miss. Allen works with minimal wasted movement, featuring a jump-cut, dead leg and old-school cross slap in getting by first contact.
Ideally, a zone scheme is a strong fit here for Allen. Syracuse wants decisive runners who can put pressure on the edges while working well in between the tackles and the latest commitment fits the bill. There is a head-turning grit in his running ability, pairing well with great leverage and lean he runs with. Allen has classic one-cut traits and even holds his own on third down.
The work on defense showcases spacial awareness and ball skills, the type of traits to factor into the passing and/or return game on Saturdays. The lateral game and power through contact can allow for natural yards after the catch, but Allen is a willing pass-protector or lead blocker out of the backfield, too. This is where vision, instincts and a bit of a desire for that pad pop that shows itself on defense. He Moonlights as a defensive back and makes plays on the football versus the run and the pass.
In terms of room for improvement, there is a lack of high-end speed based on available tape. There may not be a true home run threat every time Allen touches the football but he has the right combination of quickness and grit to pick up consistent yardage. We expect him to fill out his frame and embrace the physical, decisive style he runs with over the next year or two, so there is a ceiling for evolution into a classic downhill running back before his Syracuse career comes to a close.