North Florida Christian (Tallahassee, Fla.) two-way standout Jakari Allen collected multiple offers during the spring of 2013, one of which came from the East Carolina Pirates.
"It was the Defensive Back Coach Rick Smith," the 5-foot-11 Allen said. "He came to NFC (North Florida Christian) and talked to my coach. After that I was called to coach's office and that's when he offered me on the spot."
Allen hadn't heard much about the Pirates before his offer and doesn't remember seeing them play on television. He said Rick Smith told him that it was a good program and a great place to be, while also mentioning the loyal fan base in Greenville.
Since receiving his offer, Allen wanted to see the school himself. He just got back from a recent visit to campus.
"I visited last week," he said. "I liked it a lot, I toured the campus and me and some other players did some drills for Coach (Rick) Smith. I also got to see all of the football facilities, I enjoyed the experience."
Allen plans on being an art major in college. He knows ECU has a good art program which is another plus for the school.
As a junior, Allen played well on both sides of the ball. Defensively he finished with 42 tackles and three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. As a receiver, a position he only played in the second half of the season, he had 17 receptions for 231 yards and 4 touchdowns. He has plans to improve his senior season.
"I did well last season," Allen said. "I want to work on man coverage more though. Also last year I didn't play as much receiver so it took time to get a feel for it. I'll play more next season and should have better stats."
Allen enjoys playing both cornerback and wide receiver; he said he doesn't have a preference at the college level. With his size, speed and style of play there's also no reason why he couldn't play safety. He said Coach Rick Smith told him playing safety could be a possible move if he commits.
The schools that have offered Allen include ECU, Marshall, Samford, Appalachian State and Jacksonville State. He said he's been in contact with some of the schools and has visits planned.
"I talked to the Marshall coach a little bit more," Allen said. "I may go up to Samford for a camp on July 13th."
When asked about his top schools, Allen had the Pirates at the top of his list.
"ECU is number one right now," he said. "Marshall is number two and I would probably say Appalachian State comes in at number three."
The rest of summer will be relatively busy for this recruit. He plans on taking visits to Marshall and Appalachian State in July along with the camp he may attend at Samford.
The Pirates pretty much have this recruit on board; he's just waiting on his time to commit.
"Coach (Rick) Smith said he'd call me in two or three weeks to let me if I can commit or not," Allen said. "If I can, then I'll likely do it before summer is over."
ECU's spring recruiting trip to Florida is beginning to pay off. Allen is one of three recruits this week that have told me the Pirates are at the top of their lists. It obviously is paying off to have Defensive Coordinator Rick Smith back in the recruiting game, his Florida connections seem to be spreading the Pirate Nation throughout the "Sunshine State."