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February 6, 2013

Allen kicks off Signing Day

Jonathan Allen didn't wait to finish up his recruiting process. The Rivals.com five-star defensive end prospect from Ashburn, Va., faxed his National Letter of Intent to the Crimson Tide football offices well before many Alabamians even left their homes early Wednesday morning.

At 6:39 a.m., Allen kicked off National Signing Day 2013 for Alabama.

"I couldn't wait. I was just excited to get to my school in the morning and send my letter over," said the 2012 Gatorade Virginia Football Player of the Year. "I was excited throughout the whole process this morning."

Allen said the news was well received. He spoke with Alabama outside linebackers coach Lance Thompson shortly after faxing over his formal commitment.

"Coach Thompson said that he and all of the Alabama coaches are excited," Allen recalled. "He told me to just finish out my senior year strong with school and basketball and that he's happy to have me on board."

Allen menaced opposing quarterbacks last season at Stone Bridge - often shaking the attention of multiple offensive linemen - to tally 119 tackles, eight sacks and six fumble recoveries. The 2012 Washington Post Fall All-Met Defensive Player of the Year anchored a stout defense that allowed just 13.8 points per game.

"Sometimes I'd just stand there in awe and watch as he made incredible plays," said Stone Bridge head coach Mickey Thompson. "He's really a great kid as well. We've taken him as far as we can at this level. Now, probably the best football team in the country will have the chance to take him to the next level."

Born in Anniston in 1995, Allen said he grew up an avid Alabama fan. And despite spending just five months in the state, crimson-and-white blood still runs through his veins.

"I've always been a fan," said Allen with a laugh. "One of the earliest memories I have of Alabama football is watching the Alabama-Texas national championship in (January) 2010 with my brother."

Alabama's current standing among college football's elite didn't hurt either. The Crimson Tide's 21-0 drubbing of LSU cemented his decision.

"At that point in time, I was almost positive that I wanted to go to Alabama," Allen said of the 2011 national championship contest. "But watching that game gave me the last little bit (of assurance) I needed. Once Alabama offered me (a scholarship), I knew that's where I would be going."

Allen joins Alabama's defense unit with the size and physical tools to potentially see playing time as a true freshman. The 6-foot-3, 262-pound pass rusher is projected to play at the Jack linebacker position.

With his senior year almost behind him, Allen is enthusiastic to contribute and help Alabama compete for its third consecutive BCS national title.

"I'm definitely excited. I'm ready to move to the next stage of my life and am really looking forward to having the opportunity to go down there and compete," he said.


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