The Wolverine

June-July 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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48 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2020   COMMITMENT PROFILE M arkus Allen never visited Michi- gan. But in an unprecedented time in recruiting where virtual meetings are the new normal and no in-person contact is allowed, the three-star wide receiver from Clay- ton (Ohio) Northmont felt like it was time. After a long talk with his family, Allen decided to pull the trigger and give Michigan a verbal commitment April 28. "My gut was just telling me that there is something about Michigan," Allen said. "You have to go to Michi- gan. My mom always tells me you have to go with your gut feeling. I re- ally liked Michigan and have always liked Michigan since they offered me. "I felt all the love from the coaches. It just felt like it was the right place for me." Allen committed to Michigan over offers from Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Purdue, Virginia, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Wisconsin and a hand- ful of other major programs. Relationships played a big role in Allen's decision to side with the Wol- verines. Both U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Josh Gattis were heavily involved in his recruitment throughout the dead period. "I like how Coach Gattis is as a man," Allen said. "He tells the truth. He told the truth ever since I got my offer. He told me why they were recruiting me, showed me how I would fit into the offense and told me why he wants to coach me. A lot of coaches don't do that. He went in depth and kept it real from the jump. "Coach Harbaugh is a down-to- earth type of a guy. He also kept it real. My mom really liked him. He's a very family oriented guy, which I like a lot. We talked football, and he said he needs outside guys. He told me I can fill that hole." While Gattis' mantra is 'speed in space,' Allen brings a different skill set. On film, Allen is a jump ball mas- ter and offers a bigger target on the outside. "Coach Gattis has me as an outside receiver, but he knows I can move like a smaller guy," Allen explained. "I can move in and out. It depends on what I can learn when I get there. "A lot of schools see me as just an outside guy. But Coach Gattis sees me as someone that can move every- where. I really like that. He under- stands I can move unlike some other big guys." Allen was one of the most produc- tive wide receivers in the state of Ohio last season, recording 51 receptions for 1,099 yards and 15 touchdowns. His head coach, Tony Broering, showered Allen with compliments and is certain he'll be an impact player in Ann Arbor. "His catch radius is so big," the coach noted. "Once we knew what he had with him the second half of the season, I would just tell our quar- terback to throw it up to him. Our quarterback threw 33 touchdowns. Markus had half of them. He broke the record for most touchdowns in a season. We always said let's just get it somewhere where he can catch it, and Markus will come down with it. That's a special thing. "He's a great kid and a fantastic young person. His work ethic is what's going to give him a chance to be something special at Michigan." Allen plans to visit Michigan as soon as the dead period comes to an end. rates the 6-2, 185-pound Allen as the No. 18 prospect in Ohio and the No. 76 wide receiver in the country. — EJ Holland Productive Ohio Wideout Markus Allen Pulls The Trigger For Michigan Before Visiting FILM EVALUATION Strengths: Markus Allen presents a big target on the outside. His most impres- sive trait is winning 50/50 balls and out-jumping opposing defensive backs. He has excellent body control coupled with an impressive catch radius. He also has above-average straight-line speed, which allows him to go vertical and make plays on deep balls. Allen will be a huge red-zone threat at Michigan and a guy that will go up and get it in the end zone. Areas Of Improvement: Allen does not show a lot of versatility in his game. His film consists mostly of jump balls and go routes. He needs to expand his route tree and show that he's capable of running outs, posts, etc. A bigger receiver, he also needs to work on hip flexibility to better get in and out of breaks. Route run- ning and flexibility are the two main hindrances in his overall game. Michigan Player Comparison: Allen will likely be used in the same role as Nico Collins. While not quite as tall or filled out, Allen is a big target with a tremendous wingspan. Allen also has the frame to add more weight, and he has no problem getting physical on the outside. Like Collins, Allen brings a "my ball" attitude and will be looked at as a jump ball receiver. — EJ Holland Allen "My mom always tells me you have to go with your gut feeling. I really liked Michi- gan and have always liked Michigan since they offered me. I felt all the love from the coaches. It just felt like it was the right place for me." Allen, who had 1,099 yards and 15 touch- downs receiving as a junior, has never been to Ann Arbor before but will look to change that when the extended dead period due to the coronavirus ends. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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