Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier have been waiting patiently to gain a commitment from a quarterback since they arrived in Gainesville together in January.
Last Wednesday that wait came to an end when 2017 quarterback Jake Allen (6-2, 195, Fort Lauderdale, FL St. Thomas Aquinas) decided to end his recruitment in favor of the Florida Gators.
“Well after my last visit to Florida, it was a great visit chatting with the coaches and it just felt right then,” Allen said of why he committed to Florida. “I felt though that I had to go see Notre Dame, Florida State and see Stanford and it ended up being a good thing since I was able to see everything, but after I got home I chatted with my coaches and my family and it just made the most sense to commit to Florida.”
Allen made the call to Florida early Wednesday morning and he was greeted by a ton of excitement when he gave the Gators the good news.
“Coach Mac said I made his Fourth of July by committing.That was cool to hear,” he said of the coaches’ reactions to his news. “Coach Nuss said he was excited to have me and excited to coach me. Overall they were really excited about having me commit to them.”
Nussmeier has been Allen’s lead recruiter for several months now and the two have a great relationship together. That was a big key for Allen.
“The biggest thing for me is that Coach Nuss played quarterback himself,” Allen said of the draw to Nussmeier. “I want the coach that I play for to have played the position. Coach Nuss has played the position so he knows what is going on in our mind and he knows what we are going through. I felt very comfortable with him.”
Allen visited and camped with Florida in June and he plans to return to his new home for Friday Night Lights, where he plans to talk in depth with McElwain and Nussmeier.
“Coach Mac and I haven’t really discussed his offense to much but when I go back up there again we plan to sit down and talk all of that over,” he said of Florida’s plans for him. “I’m just excited to be able to play for two great offensive minded coaches there.”
The 2017 quarterback committed very early in his process and he did that so he could get some playmakers with him in Gainesville.
“Being the leader of my class is extremely important to me,” Allen said. “I have guys that want to play with me so now that I’m committed I can start working on those guys and telling them that I’m a Gator commit.”
Allen has already started doing some recruiting and he says that he has one simple message for everyone but will also have messages for each individual he talks too.
“I’m just going to tell those guys ‘let’s go ball in the Swamp together’,” he said of his message to other prospects. “I’m going to give each guy a different personal message because I can’t go around and give everyone the same message. Each guy is different so I’m going to recruit and treat everybody differently.”
Being a quarterback, Allen says that his two top targets are receivers, but he also knows he needs someone blocking for him in Gainesville.
“Sam [Bruce] and Trevon [Grimes] are my two top targets right now,” Allen said. “I’m recruiting a couple of offensive linemen too. I’m going to bring those guys up to Friday Night Lights and we will see what happens. I’m also going to be recruiting some other guys like Binjimen Victor.
Having Allen recruiting for Florida and also being the quarterback in Gainesville is big but maybe this biggest thing is that McElwain has landed a player from St. Thomas Aquinas, which has the most players playing in the NFL.
“I think it’s big for Florida to get back into St. Thomas with players,” Allen said. “St. Thomas always produces a lot of big football players so Florida having a good relationship with the school is huge for everyone.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Even though Allen is a 2017 prospect this may be the biggest pick up for McElwain and company to date because of the impact he will have on other prospects. Quarterbacks are usually the leader of the class and that’s exactly what you can expect from Allen going forward.