Franklin High’s Patrick Allen, the area’s top college football prospect, has given a verbal commitment to the University of Georgia. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive linemen pledged to the Bulldogs Monday evening over Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
“They feel like family,” said Allen. “When I went to Georgia it was comfortable. The staff was awesome, the academics are great. It’s a really great program.”
Allen attended an one-day prospect camp at the Southeastern Conference school in June. Despite traveling overnight and arriving just as the camp started, Allen was impressive in one-on-one blocking drills.
“I was dog-tired but I knew the coaches were going to test me. I knew I had to compete,” said Allen. “It was an audition. The guys I was going against were no amateurs.”
Allen was the lone area rising senior to participate at the Rivals 100 Five-Star Challenge at M&T Bank Stadium in June. Mike Farrell, Rivals’ national recruiting director, said Allen is “college-ready.”
“He’s got to add lower body strength but he’s got a tremendous physical upper body,” said Farrell. “He’s got nimble feet, he can play guard and eventually tackle when he gets lower body strength.”
“Patrick still has some things to prove,” said Franklin coach Anthony Burgos. “He’s very happy with Georgia, but there’s some questions out there with coaches about his toughness. He’s highly motivated about showing what kind of player he’s going to be.”
Ranked No. 90 nationally by Rivals (2nd overall in Maryland), Allen emerged last season for Franklin, which won the Class 3A state championship. The Reisterstown school could be the area’s and state’s best public squad heading into the 2014 campaign with 16 returning starters.
“Last year is over, it’s about what team’s going to come out hungry enough to fight,” said Allen. “Winning states was fun and remember a lot about the moment, but it was a moment. It’s about the team and wanting to leave a legacy.”