UGA brought out a few big guns early in the recruitment of Lassiter sophomore defensive back Derrik Allen. Allen has already picked up 11 offers, but UGA was among the first.
“Early on in Derrik’s recruitment, right after his freshman year, maybe even before his freshman season, coach (Jeremy) Pruitt and coach (Kevin) Sherrer from Georgia came by and talked to us about Derrik and got to see some film on him,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said.
That was a statement. When the UGA defensive coordinator (Pruitt) and outside linebackers coach (Sherrer) made a trip to see a freshman, that was a testament to Allen’s talent level. After his freshman season, Allen was selected by Football University to play in the inaugural Adidas Freshman All-American Bowl.
UGA is interested in the 6-foot-1, 185-pound cornerback, but is the feeling mutual?
“I went to Georgia when they played against Alabama,” he said. “When I went to the game, I just loved the atmosphere of the crowd, the way they pump up on the sidelines. They let me into the player’s lounge and that was hype.”
Allen said he also got the chance to speak with coach Pruitt and UGA running backs coach Thomas Brown while at the game.
“They’re good coaches,” Allen said. “They coach the same way (as) our DB coaches, basically. Same coverages. Same high intensity.”
The sophomore is already an elite defender, but he will have a chance to make an impact on offense.
“Starting this week, and then next year, he’ll be playing more offense for us at receiver,” Irwin said.
It isn’t surprising that his coach would look for more ways to get Allen on the field. The dynamic sophomore seems willing to do whatever it takes to help his team.
When asked what he wanted to play in college, Allen answered: “It doesn’t really matter. Wherever I’m needed, really.”
UGA may have some tough competition. Born in North Carolina, Allen’s family has strong feelings about a team just one state away.
“Definitely Clemson,” the sophomore said quickly when asked if a school had made an impact on him lately. “Yeah, definitely. And my dad growing up in South Carolina, he’s a diehard Clemson fan. (My family is) All Clemson fans. My grandparents (are) Clemson fans.”
Allen said he’s been to Clemson Memorial Stadium plenty of times. He also believes the stadium has a unique look and feel about it.
“I kind of just like the way it’s shaped,” Allen said. “It kind of sinks in. Like you are in a big bubble of excitement.”
He plans on watching a game there pretty soon.
“I’m going to the Clemson-FSU game this week,” Allen said.
The 4-star sophomore has a long recruitment ahead, but he still has had enough time to formulate a rundown of his top schools.
“Definitely, right now, Clemson, Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee.”
William McFadden covers UGA recruiting for DawgNation and is an SEC multimedia reporter for SECCountry. Give him a follow on Twitter for sports news and opinions you probably won’t agree with.