Center Brian Allen, Hindsale, Ill. (Central) - 6-foot-2, 270 pounds
Ratings: 247 sports (3 stars), Rivals (3 stars), Scout (3 stars), ESPN (unranked)
Other notable offers: Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue
What has been long expected finally happened Saturday, as Hinsdale (Ill.) Central center Brian Allen committed to Michigan State.
The younger brother of MSU offensive lineman Jack Allen, the Spartans have been working hard to secure a commitment from Brian for the class of 2014.
Allen has visited East Lansing countless times, including a three-day stay from April 4-6, which could have helped seal the deal. That also was Allen's first time meeting new Spartan coach Jim Bollman, who took over from Allen's primary recruiter, Dan Roushar.
This weekend, Allen was originally scheduled to visit Notre Dame, but the plans changed when the Irish decided not to offer a center for 2014 -- so Allen came to East Lansing instead.
Congrats to Core 6 Athletes Class of 2014 OL Brian Allen who has given #MichiganState his commitment. #COMPETE twitter.com/core6athletes/…— #COMPETE (@core6athletes) April 20, 2013
He is ranked among the top three centers by the three recruiting sites that have him ranked.
Allen is the second commitment from Illinois this year, joining fellow Core6 athlete and offensive lineman Chase Gianacakos. He brings the Michigan State class up to five total, in a class that should number around 20.
For Allen, it came down to Michigan State, Iowa and Ole Miss, but the Spartans won out with the talented interior lineman.
Allen is a terrific prospect for MSU for a variety of reasons, but leading the way is the fact he is a pure center. It isn't extremely common to find a player with the skill set of a center as a high school football player.
What is impressive about his blocking is the leverage he gets from a strong base. His leg strength is evident as he pushes defenders back as soon as he gets his hands on them -- sometimes 10-20 yards downfield.
He gets his hands on a defender quickly, and from there -- as evidenced by his highlight tape -- wins a lot of blocks.
Part of his blocking tenacity comes from his wrestling background, as Allen won an Illinois state title this winter in the 285-pound class.
He also is very athletic, and covers a lot of ground on screen passes or when the quarterback rolls out.
Allen also is a solid defensive tackle prospect, and gets a good push and uses his hands well to get into the backfield. That said, his future at Michigan State lies on the offensive line.
At 6-foot-2, he projects to an inside line position -- similarly to his brother, who has started at center and guard last year -- but his ability at center is undeniable.
When Allen arrives on campus in the fall of 2014, Travis Jackson will be entering his senior year, giving Allen a redshirt year and preparing him to likely take over in the fall of 2015 for Jackson.
As the Spartans look to really add depth and talent on the offensive line in the 2014 class, things are going well thus far with the Allen and Gianacakos in the fold early. Expect two or three more offensive linemen in this class.