TJC football coach Danny Palmer secured another highly touted transfer on Thursday as LSU offensive lineman Willie Allen signed with the Apaches.
Thomas Rocco, Tyler Junior College’s assistant head coach/defensive coordinator, announced the signing via text.
That is now three transfers from major colleges in the last month for the Apaches as Allen joins TCU quarterback Brennen Wooten and Texas defensive lineman Marcel Southall at TJC.
Allen is a 6-7, 310-pound redshirt freshman from River Ridge, Louisiana near New Orleans. He attended John Curtis Christian High School where he also played basketball. As a senior, he was a four-star prospect according to ESPN, Scout and 247Sports. Rivals rated him a three-star recruit. ESPN touted him as the No. 2 offensive tackle and No. 2 overall player in Louisiana. Allen played in the 2016 Under Armour Game played in Orlando, Florida.
Allen had planned to transfer to TCU but was barred by LSU, reported The Advocate of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
LSU said there was illegal contact between a TCU staff member and Allen, a source told The Advocate - the reason for the decision.
Allen, who redshirted as a freshman last season while injured, is also barred from transferring to any Southeastern Conference team. It is normal protocol for programs to block players from transferring inside their conference.
Before signing with TJC, Allen visited Baylor and UCLA and had spoken with staffs at Miami and Oklahoma, The Advocate reported.
If he transferred to a major college program, he would have to sit out this season to adhere to NCAA transfer policy. He would be eligible as a redshirt sophomore in 2018. He can play one year at TJC and then transfer to Division I program if he wishes.
Allen missed his freshman season in 2016 while undergoing surgery to repair a leg injury, then-coach Les Miles said last fall. He practiced this spring as a backup at either tackle position.
Allen joins fellow tackle Chidi Okeke and center Andy Dodd as offensive line transfers since coach Ed Orgeron took over the Tigers’ program.