As #15 Michigan State put the finishing touches on its 2018 recruiting class last week, the Spartans received pledges from several preferred walk-ons, including Ypsilanti (MI) wide receiver Jalen Allen.
Spartan Nation caught up with Allen, who passed up on Division 2 and Division 3 opportunities to join the Spartans and said that a big reason behind his decision to choose Michigan State had to do with wanting to compete at the Division 1 level, as well as the fact that it was a fit for himself and his family from a financial standpoint.
“For me, I was seeing really about the money, the University of Findlay was kind of expensive and Michigan State was a little less, so I had to make the decision that was right financially and I felt like I could play at the Division 1 level,” he said. “Michigan State is a great school, Michigan State has been one of my favorite schools for forever. I talked with one of my coaches and the chance to walk on came up and I took it.”
Along with an opportunity to play at the University of Findlay, Allen also told Spartan Nation that he also held an offer from Mount Union.
Now that Allen is officially a Spartan, the 5-foot-11 player who is capable of playing on the offensive and defensive side of the ball said that he hasn’t been told of where the coaching staff plans to play him when he arrives in East Lansing but did admit he has a preference.
“I haven’t talked to them about where I will play at yet,” he said. “I want to play receiver, but anywhere they put me, I will play – anyway I can help the team, no matter where it is.”
While Allen has accomplished plenty on the football field throughout his high school career, he also prides himself on what he’s been able to do off the field and as a teammate and wants to be known as a team-first type of player.
“I always try to keep good character,” he said. “I never want to be the guy who always gets into arguments with teammates and stuff like that. I always want to be the guy who picks the team up and gets along with everybody, no matter who you are.”
Throughout his high school career, Allen made a name for himself as a fast, sure-handed receiver and also added that doesn’t shy away from contact or going over the middle to make a catch and can play a number of different positions.
“I’ve played wide receiver my whole my whole high school career,” he said. “So I’m not afraid – I can play any position, really.”
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