Friday, December 13, 2013 3:48 AM
Published on: Friday, November 02, 2012
By Brandy L. Simms
Despite sanctions levied against the Penn State football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the program has landed one of the top players in Prince George’s County.
DeMatha junior Mark Allen recently became the first student-athlete in the 2014 recruiting class to make an oral pledge to the Nittany Lions.
Allen, a 5-foot-7, 185-pound running back, attended a football camp at Penn State last summer and fell in love with the school, according to DeMatha head coach Elijah Brooks.
“For years, he’s liked Penn State,” said Brooks, also a former DeMatha running back who played collegiately. “He decided to attend their summer camp. He performed well. I think he felt this was the place he wanted to be if Penn State wanted him.”
Allen, who verbally committed to Penn State last month, had successful knee surgery to repair a torn ACL and has not played since DeMatha’s 40-7 victory over St. John’s on Oct. 13. He finished the season with 682 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
In seven games, Allen surpassed the century mark three times including a season-high 152 yards rushing on 16 carries in the Stags’season-opener against Hillside High in North Carolina.
Brooks said Allen also received interest from Maryland, West Virginia and Wake Forest but Penn State was the first school to make an offer to the talented junior tailback.
“I’m confident there were more on the way,” Brooks said. “He saw a system which would utilize a back with his skill set. Mark has all the tools to be an impact player. He has a great feel for the game.”