UK Recruiting

‘It’s a good win for Kentucky.’ QB’s commitment might open doors for Cats.

Lexington Catholic quarterback Beau Allen commits to UK

Class of 2020 quarterback Beau Allen, who currently plays for Lexington Catholic, announces to his school and to media that he plans to play football for the University of Kentucky.
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Class of 2020 quarterback Beau Allen, who currently plays for Lexington Catholic, announces to his school and to media that he plans to play football for the University of Kentucky.

Lexington Catholic quarterback Beau Allen knew for about a week that he wanted to suit up for the University of Kentucky in college.

Allen, a four-star recruit according to Rivals.com and a three-star prospect according to 247Sports, committed to UK during an announcement event Monday at his high school.

He had dozens of other offers and never solidified a “top five” but had been most in contact with West Virginia, Washington State, Duke, Michigan State and Georgia. After his official visit to Lexington on April 26 — two weeks after he was on campus for UK’s spring game — Allen was certain he wanted to play in his backyard, and for the first power-five program that extended him a scholarship offer more than two years ago, when he was a freshman.

The junior is just as excited about having that offer as he was then. It was tough not to commit on the spot when he received that offer in March 2017, but Allen went through the recruiting process methodically before rounding back to the Wildcats. He intends to enroll in January, following his senior season.

“I’m just really excited to be truly part of the program, to really start recruiting and getting ahead of this 2020 class, and really making the best of it,” Allen said.

“There’s no chance,” Allen said, of him decommitting from UK.

“I’ve thought about this,” Allen said. “ ... I know all that I need to know about other schools and what I want to do at Kentucky, and why I want to go to Kentucky.”

Allen as a junior last season led the KHSAA in touchdown passes (42) and was first in yards per game (311 in 12 games), second in total yardage (3,729) and eighth in completion percentage (65.3). He also led his team in rushing with 740 yards and eight touchdowns on 99 carries.

Steve Wiltfong, the director of recruiting for 247Sports, thinks Allen’s productivity at the high school level will translate to the college game.

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Lexington Catholic’s Beau Allen threw for 42 touchdowns and 3,729 yards in 12 games as a junior in 2018. Alex Slitz aslitz@herald-leader.com

“He’s got the ability to be a really good one,” Wiltfong said of the 6-foot-2, 203-pound Allen. “ ... He’s a guy that gets real comfortable within the offense he’s running and sees the field well. He’s a good decision-maker that elevates his football team at Lexington Catholic. It’s a good win for Kentucky. He had a lot of good offers, and it would have been rough to see the local player go elsewhere.”

Allen’s decision signaled continued momentum for the Kentucky football program’s recruiting efforts. He became the fourth commit in the 2020 class in less than a month, joining four-star defensive tackle Lamar Goods, four-star offensive tackle John Young and three-star cornerback Andru Phillips.

Allen reeled off several players whom he’ll be trying to get on the Big Blue bandwagon, among them several other highly rated Kentuckians: Vito Tisdale, a four-star safety out of Bowling Green; Octavious Oxendine, a three-star defensive tackle at North Hardin; and Izayah Cummings, a three-star wide receiver at Male who at one time was committed to UK.

Michael Drennen, a four-star cornerback and the third-ranked prospect in Ohio, Kalil Branham, a three-star receiver from Ohio, and Justin Rodgers, a four-star offensive guard from Michigan, were others whom Allen mentioned by name. He envisions the 2020 class having a similar effect on the program that the 2016 group — which was headlined by several Kentuckians — did.

“I really do feel that way,” Allen said. “I know people are seeing that out on the field now, and they see other players believing in the program.”

Knights head coach Nigel Smith described Allen as a natural leader.

“This is good and fun, all the pomp and circumstance today, but if you come by and see him tomorrow, he’s gonna be in the weight room right after school doing what we do,” Smith said. “ ... I can remember him out on our field when he was 6 or 7 years old in our youth camp. He was the biggest kid around then and all the other kids gravitated toward him and wanted to be on his team, and that didn’t stop once he got to middle school or high school.”

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