The University of Georgia is reknown for its long history of succcessful tight ends. This legacy has allowed us to go out and recruit talented big athletes who want to be a part of a program that throws the ball to the big guys and eventually sends them to the NFL.
The latest in this line of standout tight ends looks to be Dwayne Allen of Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Allen is coached by Wayne Inman, the father of former Bulldog Dan Inman, and gave his verbal commitment to the Dawgs back in December of '06. Since then, he has taken visits to UNC and NC State, but appears more or less solid in his commitment. Allen was that rare early out of state commitment, and he's a good one, as you'll see in this video, lovingly prepared by the folks at Rivals.
The first play of the video should make it clear why Allen was a hot target from the start. The guy simply does not run like your average gawky high school tight end. He averaged 22 yards a catch his junior year, which I take to mean that he made a lot of guys miss once he got the ball. This is a very good quality in tight ends, because they almost always get the ball in traffic and have to shake somebody to get anything after the catch. Like Aron White last year, he's 6'4, 220+ and plays like another wide receiver. In fact, you'll notice on the video that he's split wide and goes in motion on some plays. He goes up really well for the ball from what I see. Allen is pretty fluid for a high school tight end, though his route running will need some work. But Dave Johnson has turned out great tight ends in Athens, so I doubt that will be a problem.
The thing that I really like about Allen is evident on the run plays. He has excellent pad level for a 6'4 tight end. Big guys at the high school level really have to fight the impulse to stand straight up and "chickenfight" (Yes, it's a highly technical term, I know. But if you've seen it done, you know there's no better word for it). Allen does a great job of staying behind his pads, keeping his feet moving and driving guys out of the hole. He sometimes has trouble getting his hands positioned inside to really steer defenders, but that will improve with time. While I'm not sure I like his blocking skills as much as 2007 signee Bruce Figgins, I still think his blocking skills are way above average.
If we can hold onto him Dwayne Allen has a world of potential. His blocking ability means that he may even be a candidate for early playing time. A solid pick up for the Dawgs.