Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Coach | 2022 Notre Dame OL Target Jacob Allen "A Rare Specimen"

May 22, 2020

Todd Smith says it’s difficult to find the complete package when it comes to offensive linemen, but the head coach at The Hun School in Princeton, N.J., believes he has one on his roster in 2022 offensive lineman Jacob Allen‍.

“He is that rare specimen,” says Smith. “He is the kid who can bend, the kid who is flexible, the kid who has the nexus that everyone is looking for.

“A lot of times you can get kids with those things, but one thing a lot of big kids struggle with is playing mean or coming off the ball. That’s not a problem for Jacob. Jacob comes off the ball and he brings it every play. He wants to put people in the ground on every snap.”

Allen transferred to Hun before last season with that mentality.

“He already came pre-packaged with that already,” says Smith. “He’s got that great mindset, where off the field, he’s a gentle giant. But on the field, when he steps in between those lines, people better watch out because he comes with it.”

College coaches have recognized as well, which is why he has offers from schools like Texas A&M, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Auburn, Miami, Ole Miss, Rutgers and Syracuse among many others.

Earlier this month, he added Notre Dame to that list.

“He’s pretty excited,” his coach says. “He does come from a family of faith. Obviously, Notre Dame is a team he’s grown up watching.”

He also has a connection to the Irish offensive line room as he used to play at St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, where current Notre Dame lineman John Olmstead played.

“He’s a great kid, natural leader, kids gravitate to him,” Smith says of Allen. “He’s got a great sense of humor. He just works hard. He’s really super focused with all of the attention he’s getting. He’s not letting it go to his head. His teammates respect him for that.

“What it all boils down to, he’s that super cool, goofy o-lineman. I’m an o-lineman myself, so we all have a little bit of goofball in us. That’s just the way we’re taught and were made.”

Smith expects Allen will try to visit multiple schools, including Notre Dame, when the dead period is lifted.

“When everything opens back up, I think he’s going to try to do his due diligence and find the right school for him,” he says. “I do know that he’s excited about it and would be looking to get out there on his own.”

In the meantime, Smith is doing his best to keep his players engaged.

“Our big message to our kids is, ‘We can control what we can control,’” the coach says. “‘We can control what we do every day, how hard we work and the effort we put in.’ We kind of have to put the blinders on to protect us from the outside and just make sure we’re putting our time in and doing our due diligence. That takes a lot of character, a lot of effort.

“That’s our main focus, how can we get better every day in this new world we’re living in? And make sure we do that day in, day out, which I think all of the kids on our team have really embraced.”

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