August 4, 2008

Rebs trying to hold off OU for top QB

Drew Allen picked up a scholarship offer from Oklahoma this weekend.

Allen, a 6-foot-5, 198-pound quarterback from San Antonio (Alamo Heights), Texas, grew up in Big XII country. His father played football for Texas, so he knows enough about the Sooners past and present to feel that "an Oklahoma offer is not something to be taken lightly."

Still, Allen said Sunday afternoon while waiting to go fishing with his dad and uncle, Oklahoma's presence in the final stages of Allen's decision-making "doesn't change anything between me and Ole Miss.

"I still have them at the top and really still like them a lot," Allen said. "I have a really good relationship with the coaches there still and I'm just trying to make sure that I have the exact decision and that I'm 100 percent sure on the decision. When a big powerhouse school like Oklahoma comes along, you can't overlook them. So I'm just going to look into it and I'm excited about it."

On Friday, Allen told in a text message conversation that he planned to make his verbal commitment by Aug. 11, the date that his high school team begins two-a-day practices. Allen said Sunday that the Oklahoma offer doesn't impact that timetable.

"Like I've always said since the beginning, I've wanted to have a decision before school starts," Allen said. "That has not changed. My timeline has always been the end of the summer and that's come along and that still stands."

In the week before that self-imposed deadline, however, Allen might go to Norman, Okla., and check out Bob Stoops' program.

"I think we might," Allen said. "I'm not sure yet."

Allen said he grew up familiar with the Sooners, especially since his father was on the other side of Oklahoma's storied rivalry with Texas. However, he implied that he grew up treating the Longhorns' rivalry with Texas A&M more intensely than Texas' annual meeting at the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma.

"I know that Texas fans dislike A&M fans more than they do OU fans," Allen said. "We went to the OU-Texas game last year in Dallas and it was a lot of fun, but that really doesn't factor in at all. Every school is a good school in the Big 12 and playing Texas doesn't bother me at all. Ole Miss is playing Texas in 2013 and 2014, which is pretty cool."

Allen, who threw for 2,589 yards and 28 touchdowns as a junior, said he has had limited contact with Oklahoma during the recruiting process. He said he's talked to Oklahoma quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel a couple of times. After camp at Oklahoma, Allen said he talked to Stoops "not even about recruiting or anything."

That's in contrast, Allen said, to the strong relationship he's built with Ole Miss offensive coordinator Kent Austin and head coach Houston Nutt throughout the past four months.

"They're tops," Allen said.

Allen knows coaches and fans are hanging on his decision and are impatiently waiting on a verdict. Still, he said he feels he's doing the right thing by being methodical.

"Signing day is six months away," Allen said. "Committing right now, I'm committing for six years. It used to be kids didn't commit until January or February. There's a lot of pressure and a lot of coaches I'm going to have to say that I chose another school. That's going to be tough for me and I want to make sure of the decision. I think that another week or a week and a half isn't going to hurt if I think a little more about it. I just really want to make the right decision."

Asked specifically where Ole Miss stands with approximately one week left before Allen makes a commitment, he didn't hesitate.

"They're ahead," Allen said. "It's Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Purdue and Vanderbilt as well."

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