It was an up-and-down weekend for Brian Allen (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central), though much of it was down for the 2014 two-way lineman.
His high school team suffered its first loss of the season Friday after blowing a halftime lead. He was hoping his visit to Michigan State on Saturday would cheer him up, but it only made it worse.
“They didn’t play too hot, either,” said Allen, who has an offer from the Spartans.
The bright side for Allen was he was able to see his older brother Jack Allen play a college game for the first time. Jack is a redshirt freshman offensive lineman for the Spartans.
“I’ve seen him on the sideline a couple times,” said Allen in a showcase of his dry sense of humor. “It was cool with all those [players] there, not just him. I know a lot more kids on the team through him, so it’s cool to see them play.”
Allen has been to Michigan State close to a dozen times, including the “Little Giants” win against Notre Dame two years ago and the Wisconsin win a season ago. He didn’t put Saturday’s game on that level, but he enjoyed the atmosphere.
The highlight for Allen was to spend some time with his Core 6 teammates. Allen, who has offers from Illinois, Iowa, Purdue and Wisconsin, too, went with training partners Ian Bunting, Jamarco Jones, Nyles Morgan and Nile Sykes. Allen said the feedback he received from those four were all favorable for Michigan State.
“When we talked about our top schools they were all mentioning Michigan State among the select few,” he said. “All are liking what they see.”
Although Allen’s brother is in East Lansing and he’s seen the Spartans several times, he said he does not have any true favorites. Jack is not actively pushing for his brother to join him.
The Spartans are high on Allen’s list right now but that is because he just visited. He will visit Iowa (Oct. 20), Michigan (TBD), Ohio State (Oct. 6) and Wisconsin (Oct. 27) before the season ends.
“Whichever school I’m last at, I feel like that’s my favorite school,” Allen said. “So I got to start down and think about that.”
Michigan and Ohio State both were in touch with Allen last week. Buckeyes director of player personnel Mark Pantoni and Allen exchanged Facebook messages on Wednesday, and he spoke with Ohio State's Chicago-area recruiter Mike Vrabel two weeks ago. Allen sent the staff his midseason highlights and the staff will evaluate it over the coming days.
The same goes for Michigan. Allen called Wolverines assistant Jerry Montgomery late last week, and the Michigan staff is evaluating his highlights as well.