Penn State football picks up another Rivals250 RB in Kaytron Allen
Penn State put a bow on one of the best running back duos they've signed under head coach James Franklin Friday with the addition of IMG Academy prospect Kaytron Allen.
A native of Norfolk, Va., Allen earned an offer from the Nittany Lions almost two years ago, all the way back in Sept. 2019. Fast-forward to a year later, when Penn State could initiate conversations with Allen, and that's when the staff's chances improved substantially, as he built a close relationship with running backs coach Ja'Juan Seider.
“Me and Coach Seider have a great relationship,” Allen said previously. “We’ve been talking since day one and he’s always been consistent with me....Coach Seider is a great person and I like the way he teaches his running backs and the way they use their running backs. That all stands out to me.”
Allen locked in his official visit to Penn State early in May, but he didn't announce publicly that he'd be visiting until a week or two before. At the time, it was believed that he'd likely stay down south to play in college, but almost immediately following his official visit, which took place June 4-6, sources close to the program were raving about Allen, with some even suggesting that they made more progress with him that week than any other player on campus.
In the weeks that followed, Allen went on to visit Florida (June 14-16) and Georgia (June 18-20), with Michigan State squeezing in a visit that final weekend before the dead period. The Gators are believed to be the top competitor that Penn State beat out.
"What I like about Allen is that he became the go-to back for IMG as a junior and took full advantage of the opportunity," said Rivals National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney. "He's big and thick but is surprisingly adept at making quick cuts in the hole, finding a lane and then gaining big yards.
"I don't think he has that breakaway speed to run away from everybody in the Big 10 but he has excellent vision and a tremendous feel for when to be patient and then when to break out and get going down the field. He's not going to be a guy who stretches a lot to the outside. Instead, Allen will be more of the inside running threat, but he's very skilled at what he does."
With Allen on board, Penn State is now done at the running back position, as Pennsylvania native Nick Singleton joined the class just over a week ago. Both players are members of the Rivals250, with Allen sitting at No. 118 overall and Singleton just a few spots behind him at No. 124 overall.
"As for Allen and Singleton in the same backfield, it's going to be very interesting," Gorney said. "Where Allen can live between the tackles and gain big yards that way, Singleton has the speed to get outside and race down the sidelines. In his high school's offense there are some option looks which could be implemented for Singleton, who has tremendous balance and is very tough to bring down. He's always falling forward, doesn't dance too much to escape the tackle and he provides a very nice counter-punch to Allen, who will do most of his work between the tackles."
Before transferring to IMG Academy, Allen put up some impressive numbers at Norview High, totaling 1,465 yards rushing on 179 carries (8.2 YPC), scoring 16 touchdowns. He then went to IMG in 2019, where he split carries with current Georgia running back Lovasea Carroll. He ended up totaling more than twice as many carries as Carroll, rushing the ball 135 times for 1,097 yards (8.1 YPC) and 16 touchdowns. In just seven games last year, Allen had 68 carries for 515 yards (7.6 YPC) and nine scores.
With the addition of Allen, Penn State's class now has 19 commitments. Their point total has surpassed 2,000 points, although the Lions are still third in the team rankings with Ohio State No. 1 and Notre Dame No. 2 overall.
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