One of the most loyal Gator recruits I can remember will play out his college career at a place other than the one he had his heart set on.
Jake Allen has just announced his intentions to transfer. The move comes three days after he participated in the Orange and Blue spring game, and to his credit, he came right out and explained why:
Allen initially committed to Florida in July of 2015, heading into his junior year of high school in the midst of a transfer from Cardinal Gibbons to St. Thomas Aquinas High School. He led Aquinas to back to back state titles, enjoying his status as a Gator commit throughout his two year career there. Allen committed so early because he’d always wanted to be a Gator, and wanted to help shape his recruiting class. The fact that Jim McElwain ran a pro-style offense was just the cherry on top.
But McElwain’s Gators entered a tailspin they would not recover from last year, an issue that he compounded with the calamitous error of making up claims that he received death threats without providing proof of them when prompted to. When he naturally received the axe, Dan Mullen took over and installed a spread option scheme that just doesn’t fit what Allen likes to do- drop back and throw the ball- and with a more natural fit for that offense in Emory Jones poised for a bright future, it made sense for Allen to make the move.
I became friendly with Allen during his recruitment process in 2015 interviewing him several times (Friday Night Lights 2015 recap, Friday Night Lights 2016 recap, Jake Allen previews 2017 recruiting class, Jake Allen: The Definition of a Leader) and to this day he remains one of the most impressive young men I’ve ever talked to. Allen gave his heart and soul for this program for the past four years, and did everything he could to live his dream of playing quarterback for the Gators. Him deciding to play at a program other than the one I’ve always rooted for does nothing to change that, and whichever school he chooses to continue his career at will be lucky to have him.
Best of luck to you, Jake. Though they won’t play out at UF, you’re bound for great things.