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    Monday, October 29, 2007

    Recruiting Q&A: Dwayne Allen

    After having Seminole tight end Brandon Warren deciding to transfer last year, the Noles need to get at least one or two tight ends to commit for the 2008 class. One of the prospects is 6-4, 243 lb. Dwayne Allen from Fayetteville, NC. Allen is a commit to the Georgia Bulldogs but it is considered a soft commit. Allen committed to Georgia last December but has opened back up his recruitment The Seminoles still feel they have a shot at landing him. I have seen some film on Allen and he has good hands, speed, and good blocking skills.

    The following Q&A is from Sammy Batten who has covered Atlantic Coast Conference football and college football recruiting for The Fayetteville Observer since 1989. He's also a regular contributor to several recruiting publications and websites, including, SuperPrep, The ACC Sports Journal, Carolina Blue and A native of Goldsboro, N.C., he graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Journalism in 1981. He spent five years covering the likes of Lawrence Taylor and Michael Jordan for Carolina Blue, a specialty newspaper devoted to UNC athletics, before moving to Lumberton, N.C., for a five-year stint with The Robesonian newspaper. Batten has twice been named N.C. Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. You can view his football recruiting column each Tuesday afternoon at FayObserver or every Wednesday on to Sammy for taking the time to answer my questions.

    1. It seems that schools now are as concerned about character as much as the athlete. What can you tell me about Dwayne Allen the person?

    "Dwayne is a young man who has grown from a trouble maker who had to be assigned to an alternative school as a middle schooler to a model citizen and student. Dwayne and his mother will tell you that Terry Sanford High School coach Wayne Inman saved Dwayne when he convinced him to come out for football in the ninth grade. Since then, all I've ever heard about Dwayne Allen are good things. In my personal experiences with Dwayne, he has always been extremely polite and gracious with his time. You don't sense an ounce of arrogance when you talk to this guy. In fact, during a recent interview I had with him to talk about his recruitment, we spent more time discussing about a receiver on his team who has taken the pressure off Dwayne than we did about Dwayne himself. I haven't heard one person in our community say a bad thing about Dwayne, which in this day and age is rare."

    2. Florida State would like to have a TE who can not only block but catch the ball. Does Allen have good hands?

    "Dwayne has such good hands and speed that he probably spends about 40 percent of his time on offense lined up at wide receiver. Because he grew up playing basketball, he has developed exceptionally soft hands from receiving passes in the pivot. Many of the schools recruiting him feel he catches the ball so well they're considering him as more of an H-back player, who they can line up at tight end, fullback or out wide as a receiver."

    3. What kind of success has Allen had in high school?

    "He's been one of the better players in our county for two years, and this county annually produces eight to nine Division I-A players. Dwayne currently ranks second in our county in receiving with 31 receptions for 330 yards and two touchdowns. He was recently selected to represent North Carolina in the annual Shrine Bowl All-Star game scheduled for December against South Carolina. He's been a three-year starter at Terry Sanford who has played tight end, wide receiver, fullback and defensive end over the course of his career. Dwayne, along with Coach Inman, has helped revive a football program at Terry Sanford that was for several years one of the worst in our county. The Bulldogs are closing in on their third straight state 4-A playoff appearance, and last year tied for the conference championship."

    4. I know that Allen has orally committed to Georgia. On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being solid, how solid do you think is his commit to Georgia?

    "This is just my personal opinion, but I'd say about a 2.5. I base that on the fact Dwayne is planning to take all five of his official visits, which, if he were 100 percent solid with Georgia I don't think he'd do. Also, he's spent a lot of time over the summer and during the first half of the football season visiting North Carolina, N.C. State and South Carolina, all of which are in close enough proximity to Fayetteville that it's not a long drive for him. He's spent more time at North Carolina than anywhere else to this point and has said on several occasions he's developed a good relationship with the new coaching staff there. Dwayne has remained firm about Georgia being his leader, but at this stage I think it's still anybody's game. I know Coach Amato and Coach Lilly were in attendance a couple of weeks back to watch Dwayne play in Lumberton, and Coach Inman told me at that time he expected Florida State would get one of his official visits. I think those schools (UNC, N.C. State, South Carolina, Florida State) along with Virginia Tech and Georgia are the main players for Dwayne right now.''

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