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July 20, 2013
Allen's Big Surprise in Norman
Dakota Allen thought he had a lot to learn about Norman, Okla., a place he'd never been, but when the three-star inside linebacker arrived for his unofficial visit he realized just how much he had to learn.
The 6-foot-2, 228-pound prospect from Humble (Texas) Summer Creek has the Sooners in his final four but his first in-person meeting with linebackers coach Tim Kish opened his eyes.
"I had talked to (Kish) on the phone before but yesterday I was with him the whole day," Allen said. "I stayed from 8 o'clock in the morning to five or six o'clock in the afternoon. It was good, he is a very cool coach, he seemed like he'd be truthful.
"He showed me the linebackers and he showed me, each position has like two players. They have an outside, middle, and then another outside. Each position had two but this is the thing, he told me I'd play outside linebacker if I go to Oklahoma.
"In high school I've always been the inside. I've always felt like I could play outside. It's not that I don't want to do it, I always wanted to play it and felt like it could be fun. It may be something that I'm not used to though and obviously I'll have to learn it."
Through the years Oklahoma linebackers have talked about the similarities between the inside, or 'Mike', linebacker position and the 'Will' position in the Sooners defensive scheme. That's an issue that Kish and Allen discussed, though the second-year Sooner assistant admitted there will be some changes in the 2013 defensive plan.
"He told me last year they ran a lot of two linebackers but this coming year, they are going to change it, they are going to go to a true 4-3 and they are also going to put in a little bit of 3-4 in there," he said. "That sounds like a lot of fun, the 3-4 outside linebacker, working one-on-one against offensive tackles but he also mentioned sometimes when teams start spreading the ball he'd have to take out one of the outside linebackers and put in a defensive back.
"Outside linebacker is interesting but the rest of my schools (TCU, Texas Tech, and Kansas State) are saying inside linebacker so it's something I have to take into consideration."
Allen, who was clearly a bit vexed about how he'd fit into things at a position he lacks familiarity with, was impressed by another thing he was unaware of, Oklahoma's newest feature, the athletic dorms.
"I was impressed with how new everything looks, they have new dorms, I liked the coaches I met. Also I was surprised by how short they are on linebackers, they are pretty short and overall it was an interesting experience," he said.
The talented linebacker also talked about the good fit that Oklahoma had quality programs for the two majors he is currently planning to focus on.
"I'm stuck between two majors, business and law. With business, the particular would either be marketing or finance or energy management. With law, I'm not sure, I kind of got that from my parents. They said I would be good at that since I'm always arguing (laughing)."
So where exactly do things stand with Allen having one visit left to make - Kansas State next weekend - and a decision date of Aug. 16 looming?
"They are all in a clump right now, I'm going to have to really decide. Just eliminate from there as I look things over," he said. "Aug. 16 just stood out on my calendar. I guess I'll call the school that I'm going to and then I'll let the others know and post it on Twitter."