Austin Allen announced his commitment to Nebraska on April 14, 2016, becoming the fifth player — and the first tight end — to commit to the Huskers' 2017 class. He made his decision public on Twitter, saying he was "excited" to join NU almost two months after he received his offer from the Huskers.
"I've been talking about this with my family all week and I've decided Nebraska is where I wanna be," Allen told The World-Herald after making his commitment.
His offer came on Feb. 19, 2016, and he was the first in-state prospect the Huskers offered in this class. It was also his first scholarship offer from any school.
Allen visited NU during the Huskers' junior day in March 2016, his first visit since being offered. He was also on campus the day he committed, attending NU's final spring practice leading into the Red-White game. That gave him the opportunity to let Mike Riley and the coaches know in-person that he was committed.
"Coach Riley got a big 'ol grin and said, 'give me a hug,'" Allen said of his conversation with his future head coach.
Allen was back in Lincoln for the spring game on April 16. There, he joined forces with other commits like Tristan Gebbia and Keyshawn Johnson to help recruit other players for the Huskers.
He took his official visit Sept. 17 for the Oregon game where he'll continue to help in recruiting others. Afterward, he tweeted, "My love for this state just keeps growing."
NU beat Iowa and Iowa State for Allen's commitment. He told The World-Herald in March 2016 that those two schools were putting up the biggest fight with Nebraska to get him.
“I’ve heard nothing but great things about Nebraska’s staff, but if you’re going to spend five years at a school, you want to make sure,” Allen said in late March.
Allen said he was told by the Nebraska coaches that they want two to three tight ends in the 2017 class, but that Allen "was at the top of their board."
World-Herald staff writer Sam McKewon included Allen as one of 25 prospects to watch closely in 2017. "Allen is a tough cover because of his height," McKewon wrote.
Allen had 41 catches for 507 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior last season. He helped lead the Huskies to the Class B state championship game, where Aurora lost to Elkhorn South.
Allen is a consensus three-star prospect according to the major recruiting services but isn't ranked by ESPN as of early May.
Allen is also a standout basketball player for Aurora.
His teammate at Aurora, Todd Honas, will join the Huskers next season as a preferred walk-on.
NU signed two players from the state in the 2016 class — Ashland-Greenwood's Ben Stille and Norfolk Catholic's David Engelhaupt, who received his offer two days before National Signing Day.
Here's Allen's commitment announcement on Twitter:
Photo: ANDREW CARPENEAN/THE GRAND ISLAND INDEPENDENT
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