First off, no, Beau Allen did not commit. Nor, for that matter, is he close to committing.
Right now he’s thinking he needs to take a few months to whittle it down to five or six schools. And after he does that this fall, he probably won’t make a commitment until November or December.
So, breaking news this is not.
But while Allen – a 6-3, 292-pound defensive lineman from Minnetonka, Minn. – plans to mull over his option for a while, he still knows a thing or two about Northwestern.
Purple Reign talked with Allen – ranked by Scout as the No. 20 defensive tackle in the nation – about some of the things that will dictate where he ends up next season. The first part was pretty standard:
“Well, definitely things like the academics and the coaching staff,” Allen said. “And also just how I feel like I fit in at the school.”
As he kept talking, though, he sounded a bit like a coach, not simply a recruit.
“I’m also going to take a look at the program next season and look at what kind of offense and defense they run....
“I’m not too concerned with defensive scheme because I’m comfortable playing nose guard or the three or four technique. But I want to see how the defensive line works together, what kind of stunts they do, how they work off the run, some of the pass rushing techniques. So it’s not the scheme I’m worried about, but how the defensive line plays together.”
After the four-star recruit flashed some knowledge about Northwestern’s “academic history” and scenic campus, Allen proved he's familiar with NU’s defensive line, as well.
"There are a lot of things about Northwestern that I like. I got to see them play a lot last year and I like what they do defensively, especially on the defensive line. They got one guy, (Corey) Wootton, who’s a pre-season All-American, so they obviously have great coaches and a great system. They play great on the defensive line."
Indeed, NU’s defensive front has been a strength of a defense that is itself a staple of the team. And if last year is his guide to NU’s D, it’s not wonder Allen liked what he saw.
The Wildcats were 18th in the nation in sacks last season – second-best in the Big Ten – and 34th in rushing defense, good for fourth in the conference. The Cats were also in the top 30 in nation in tackles for loss.
And Wootton, who Allen mentioned, was a first-team All-Big Ten selection after his junior campaign in 2008, finishing with 10 sacks, 18th in the nation. Wootton has been dubbed a preseason All-American by Playboy, and was named to college football guru Phil Steele's All-Big Ten Team.
Still, despite executing a system that catches Allen's eye, Northwestern is no lock to get Allen.
Far from it, actually. The Cats are part of a big group recruiting the D-tackle, one that includes Nebraska, Stanford, Minnesota, Notre Dame and several others that have offered.
"I feel like some of the schools that are most interested are the ones that I’ve had offers from for a while," Allen said. "And Northwestern is more recent, so I’m just getting to know the coaching staff and the program. But I think they’re definitely showing a high level of interest."
And having boned up a bit on NU's defense, Allen, for his part, has shown some interest in Northwestern.