2022 Prospect Braelon Allen on Top 6 Schools, Relationship with Wisconsin
On Friday, 2022 Braelon Allen released his current list of top six programs. A rising junior, the Fond du Lac, Wis., standout is still relatively early in his recruiting process.
However, Allen appears to know what he wants at this point in his journey.
"I’d say I wasn't really trying to take too much time because I kind of had an idea already of what I was looking for, and those top six, they all have it," Allen told AllBadgers.com later on Friday afternoon. "So that kind of just made me drop it, just kind of narrow my focus down to those six schools.”
That being said, Allen noted programs "could probably jump in," but the six he listed were the ones he would concentrate on the most at the moment.
The lucky half-dozen schools include Michigan State, Michigan, Florida State, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Wisconsin. AllBadgers.com asked Allen about each program and what made them stand out that made him put them on this list.
For the Spartans, Allen said he has been interested for a few years, and it is a place he always wanted to look into and an offer he wanted to receive. He was excited when that opportunity was presented to him.
“I built a good relationship with Coach (Mike) Tressel over there," Allen said. "We talk pretty much every week, and I'm just real interested in them and excited to get on campus and see what else they have to offer.”
When looking at the Wolverines, Allen has liked the Big Ten program "for a really long time."
“The first football team I played for was the Wolverines, so I've liked Michigan ever since then," Allen said. "That offer was really exciting, and built a great relationship with Coach (Bob) Shoop and Coach (Jim) Harbaugh, and they were an easy pick for my top six.”
Allen admitted Florida State "is kind of the outlier" on the list in terms of geography. It is the lone true ACC program in his top six that includes five others from the Midwest, four of which play within the Big Ten.
Despite the distance, Allen said that FSU is "actually my dream school."
"I’ve liked them for pretty much as long as I can remember when I started watching college football, so I've been in contact with them every week for a few months," Allen said. "That was really exciting for me and my family because that's a place I've talked about for a long time. So that was another really easy pick for my top six, and I have a great relationship with the staff over there as well.”
Two of the schools in his top six have not yet offered. Florida State is one of them.
“No, they haven't offered but I've talked to them just a couple days ago when I was getting ready to make my list," Allen said. "I kind of just asked, 'Would it be OK if I could put you on the list without an offer?’ And they were completely fine with it. They just kind of want to get to know me a little more and get me on campus.”
According to Allen, Ohio State -- the other program who has not yet offered that is in his top six -- is "kind of at the same stage as Florida State."
"I'd say they're a little closer just because they want to get me on campus, too," Allen said. "They said when I get on campus, great things are gonna happen for me. So I'd say they're a little closer and that could come sooner just because I could get on their campus a lot faster than I could get on Florida State’s.
"So yeah, I'd say they're pretty much at the same stage, but they're a little closer.”
The Buckeyes are another program that Allen has liked for a long time, and he said he has "a very good relationship" with a lot of the staff in Columbus.
"I've had the Zoom meetings and group calls and stuff like that so I've talked to pretty much everyone," Allen said. "They like me a lot, I like them a lot, so that was another easy pick for my top schools. I definitely want to get on campus there and look around and get to know everybody a little bit more and about the program.”
For Allen, the interest with the Fighting Irish started before his sophomore year of high school.
“I went to the Notre Dame camp at the end of my freshman year, and as soon as I stepped on campus, I kind of knew that that was a place that I'd want to go to," Allen said. "Then meeting the coaches and the staff and getting to look around the campus more and going to a game all made it pretty easy for them to be one of my top schools.”
Looking at Wisconsin, it is the home-state program. Allen called out the great relationships with the entire staff. He believes there has not been anyone that he has not had a conversation with.
Through Zoom calls and communication, Allen stated that they have made it known that he is a big priority.
"Just the relationships, and I love Madison," Allen said. "I love the state of Wisconsin in general so this was a really easy one."
According to Allen, the relationship between Wisconsin and Allen started around April or May of his freshman year. Though he was not able to camp with UW, the program invited him to Madison for a game day visit last September.
“Then I had been to two more that season," Allen said. "It was pretty much after the season actually, was when we started really talking and building relationships.”
Now, Allen said he talks with Wisconsin every week, sometimes two to three times a week (he noted that both UW and Ohio State are the two teams he is in contact with the most). He mentioned that defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard, special teams coach Chris Haering and head coach Paul Chryst are the main people he speaks with -- also stating that every other week, it switches between Leonhard and Chryst.
When asked how Wisconsin envisions him within the defense, Allen mentioned more could be known early next week.
“I'm actually gonna find that out on Monday," Allen said. "I have a Zoom call with them about the defense and where they see me, where they would use me and (2021 Wisconsin commit) Hunter (Wohler) in the defense."
Regarding what the next steps are for Allen, does he have an idea as for timelines to make a decision down the road?
"Honestly, I guess I'm just looking to see how Monday goes," Allen said. "That'll be kind of the gauge for me because when it comes to Wisconsin, all the boxes are checked, but I haven't really talked about the defense much or just football in general with them. It's been more about the campus and the education and stuff so I'm excited to finally sit down and talk about football.
"If Monday goes well, I guess we'll see. But other than that, I'll try to get on some more campuses before I make a decision.”