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May 28, 2013

Allen down to five


From 19 offers down to five possibilities in a flash.

No. 1-ranked pro-style quarterback Kyle Allen took a knife to his list of potential suitors on Tuesday afternoon. Still standing when all was said and done were Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Notre Dame, UCLA and Texas A&M.

Following his announcement, which was made via Twitter, Allen spoke with Rivals.com and outlined his thought process. The four-star prospect also touched on a few other items of interest.

Q: First of all, congrats on the final five. The only one I didn't guess was Oklahoma State, so let's start there. Why did the Cowboys make the cut?
A: Really what put them in the top five is my visit. I went out there and I really, really loved the offensive coordinator. I loved the entire coaching staff. And, obviously, the facilities down there. The coaching staff was the big thing, though. That and the opportunity to play there. Wes Lunt just left, and they didn't take a quarterback last year. The opportunity to play there is amazing. The offense fits me really well, too.

Q: You have a visit to Notre Dame set up for the near future, but you haven't been there yet. What was it that put Notre Dame in the group?
A: Just Notre Dame as a school. Obviously, I know a lot about them through my research. They way the compete and I talk to Coach Martin a lot. He's a great guy. They're a national power. It's an unbelievable opportunity. Mark [Andrews] told me all about his visit up there, and he loved it so much. He said the people are just wonderful there, so I put them in the top five.

Q: You've been to UCLA and Oklahoma State and A&M already.
A: Yeah, I've been to all the schools that made it except for Notre Dame.

Q: So what put A&M in there? I know your dad loved it down there. He and I have talked extensively about your visits to A&M and Ohio State.
A: The coaching staff at A&M. I'm really liking that coaching staff. There are great people there. Obviously they have great facilities. That's a program on the rise. The first year in the SEC, they go 9-3? That's amazing. There is a lot behind them there. They have a lot of good support staff and support from the city. It's a great town and a great school. I really liked it a lot.

Q: This question is a little tougher. Be honest with me here. Everybody thinks UCLA is your leader. Obviously, everyone knew they would be on this list. Do they hold some sort of edge? Is that accurate to say?
A: To be completely honest with you, there is no edge at all from any of the schools. I honestly sat down at first and thought, maybe I should rank these five schools out but I couldn't find and order or put one school over another.

Q: You've been close with the staff over at UCLA for a long time, though. Was it the relationships that put them on the final list or something else?
A: It's easy to go over there. I've been there two or three times. They offered me a year ago now, so we have been in contact for a long time. I known coach [Noel] Mazzone for a long time now. Then I created a relationship with Taylor [Mazzone], who is an awesome dude. I started talking to Coach Mora and have a great relationship there, too.

Q: Did you just call coaches at the five schools that made it or did you break the bad news to the coaching staffs that you cut?
A: I called a couple coaches and told them, and it was hard. It felt like I was firing someone to be honest with you. I mean, all of these coaches have been really awesome to me. I felt bad doing it but I had to do it. They were all great guys. They just weren't the right fit for me.

Q: I'm sure some of them might have actually appreciated it to some extent so it could free them to recruit other quarterbacks. Did you hear any of that?
A: I didn't hear any of that. I mean, obviously, in the long run, it is better for them. But it's not like they were like, 'OK, at least you told me that.' They are still thinking how can I get in with those other schools, you know? Obviously, you saw that [Arizona State] offered Manny [Wilkins] yesterday. I had actually called Coach [Mike] Norvell at ASU yesterday and had a long talk with him about it. He is one of my favorite offensive coordinators. He's an amazing guy -- a more-than-amazing guy. ASU is just not right for me. I want to get out and start my own life and do my own thing outside of Arizona.

Q: Anything else you want to add? If you want to include anything at all, anything I haven't asked you about, here's your chance.
A: I mean, just how amazing these relationships I have created have been. I mean, talking to all these guys and getting to know them have been great. All these people are just unbelievably nice. It's been an awesome experience to get to know all of them. If you could put this in there, I just want to thank them all properly. It has meant a lot to me.

Q: Are you ready for the Rivals Five-Star Challenge
A: Oh yeah. I'm excited. I'm real excited. That should be fun.

Q: Congrats on narrowing everything down. Maybe it won't be as hectic for you anymore.
A: Yeah, let's hope.

Q: Hey, I forgot to ask you about Ohio State. What put them on the list?
A: Ohio State is Ohio State. It's a great campus and it has awesome alumni. The coaching staff is great, too. That's the biggest thing. Up there, there's lots of support from everyone around the university. Going there gives you a great chance to go to the NFL. You can see that with Coach Meyer's track record with quarterbacks.



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