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75 DAYS TO KICKOFF: A.J. Allen

In which BracketCat counts down the 75th day until kickoff with a profile of offensive lineman A.J. Allen.

A.J. Allen probably is about the same size as Mario Fatafehi, but the similaries end there.
A.J. Allen probably is about the same size as Mario Fatafehi, but the similaries end there.
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
AJAllen

#75 A.J. Allen
Redshirt Junior
6-7 | 315
El Cajon, Calif.

Bio

Position: Offensive Line

Previous College: Grossmont (Calif.) College

Projection: Second-String

Status: On Scholarship

Harry Lee "A.J." Allen (b. Sept. 16, 1994) is a talented community college offensive lineman who used the 2014 season to develop while redshirting. I expect he will compete for playing time as a redshirt junior in 2015.

He also seems like about the only touted JUCO player left from last year's signing class who hasn't already quit the team. Terrell Clinkscales, D'Vonta Derricott, Taylor Laird, Isaiah Riddle — all fell by the wayside, but Allen remains.

And now for the mea culpa: This time last year, I thought Allen was our shining hope at left tackle. That was partly my underestimating Cody Whitehair's capability and partly my overestimating Allen's ability to make an instant impact.

Allen actually envisioned ending up at right tackle, but we're fairly deep there with an established starter in Matt Kleinsorge, a returning backup in Aaron Bennett and two promising underclassmen, Alec Ruth and Evan Applegate.

Personally, if Allen ever is to see the field, I think it most likely will be as a backup to fellow JUCO Luke Hayes at right guard (and perhaps even co-starter), a position vacated by graduating senior Drew Liddle.

However, it is worth noting that Allen barely played for the White team in the 2015 spring game, and if we're going to be entirely honest about the poor track record of late-arriving JUCOs, chances are he never may make an impact.

A gigantic man-mountain who rivals Cornelius Lucas in sheer mass, Allen is a three-star prospect from California.

He played two seasons for the Grossmont Griffins under head coach Mike Jordan, helping the team to go 5-5 during his freshman season in 2012 and 5-6 as a sophomore in 2013 to earn a trip to the Western State Bowl.

Allen was rated the nation's 13th-best junior college offensive tackle by ESPN. In a nice change of pace, he spurned Texas Tech to commit to us late in the cycle after we already had lost three prior commitments to the Red Raiders.

Allen lettered two seasons for the Valhalla High School Norsemen under head coach Charlie Bussey, was selected to play in the 2011 California All-Star Game, and also participated in basketball and track and field.

You can watch Allen's JUCO highlights here.