The opening of the summer semester and football conditioning is always the prime time for attrition to begin. It started last week for LSU with the news that Saivion Smith would be headed elsewhere, and Sunday evening, one of Smith’s classmates made a similar decision as redshirt freshman offensive tackle Willie Allen announced his intentions to transfer.
Allen was a composite four-star in the recruiting class of 2016 out of John Curtis Christian. He suffered a foot injury that lead to a redshirt this past season, but worked with the second team at offensive tackle in the spring.
This hurts much more than Smith in terms of LSU’s depth. The Tigers return just 9 scholarship linemen without Allen, with three dedicated tackles — and that includes sophomore Adrian Magee, who has been suspended indefinitely pending theft charges. The incoming freshman class features players like Austin Deculus and Seth Stewart that could work outside, but the only other vets at either tackle spot will be senior K.J. Malone, junior Toby Weathersby and redshirt freshman Jakori Savage.
It’s an odd move for Allen, who seemed to have a shot at real playing time in 2017 and a chance to start in 2018. Assuming that he transfers to another FBS program, with his sitout year he’ll be in essentially the same situation. But kids have to do what they think is best.
TCU has been the rumored landing spot, but LSU is blocking that, largely because they suspect some tampering in play. Allen says he plans on opening up his recruitment. He had offers from virtually every major program out of high school.