Posted by Bryan Fischer
The May Evaluation period is a busy time for coaches across the country. From the middle of April to the end May, assistant coaches are scouring the country for players by visiting high schools and watching them practice. It's usually around this time that scholarship offers start flying off the metaphorical shelf.
While most of the offers are given to soon-to-be seniors, there are usually a few rising juniors that receive an offer here and there if the coaches like what they see. Iowa, however, felt strongly enough about one freshman to go ahead and pull the trigger on offering this week. Hinsdale (Ill.) offensive lineman Brian Allen was the lucky recipient and he was astonished more than anything else.
"When my dad first told me that Iowa was going to offer, I thought he was kidding at first," Allen told HawkeyeReport.com. "I mean I'm only a freshman, so it's kind of unreal for them to do that now, but we called Coach (Kirk) Ferentz today and he confirmed it."
Verbal scholarship offers are non-binding and the earliest a written offer may be made is August 1st of a prospect's senior year in high school. That means there's a lot of time for the 6-foot-1, 245 pound Allen to improve his game.
"It's unreal," Allen added. "After getting the offer, I think I just have to work harder now. It's inspiring and will drive me to do more and be even better."
Allen, who has never even played a down of varsity football, is very much an exception to the normal recruiting process. The Hawkeye staff is familiar with the family after recruiting Brian's older brother, Jack, who signed with Michigan State and was also offered by Iowa. The biggest reason for the early offer was not genetics however, but rather Brian's prowess on the wrestling mat.
"I think my wrestling background helped a lot with the Iowa offer," Allen told the website. "They are big on wrestling up there and it seems like they end up offering a lot of wrestlers."
He finished third in the state in the 215 pound weight class as a freshman and is expected to be a starter on his high school team next year on the offensive line. Michigan State has kept in contact with the family and is showing interest in the younger Allen but has not offered.
It remains to be seen what, if any offers are in Allen's future but he's not the only one in the class of 2014 to receive a scholarship offer. According to Rivals, 10 other players in the class hold at least one offer with Bamberg (S.C.) linebacker Kevin Crosby listed as holding six offers. Class of 2015 quarterback David Sills was offered by USC as an 8th grader and committed to the Trojans shortly afterwards.
Still, quite the accomplishment for Allen as the latest member of a very exclusive club.