Sergio Allen, one of the country’s top sophomore defensive ends, returned to Clemson on Sept. 9 for an unofficial visit. The Fort Valley (Ga.) Peach County four-star prospect watched the second-ranked Tigers defeat the then No. 13 Auburn Tigers, 14-6, in Death Valley.
Though Allen had been on Clemson’s campus before, he said it didn’t seem so.
“I enjoyed my visit a lot,” Allen told The Clemson Insider. “It was my second time visiting, and it still felt like my first because of my excitement. I loved everything. People knew me, and I knew others as well. They made me feel welcomed, and the game atmosphere was crazy. I learned chants. It made me want to be on the field.”
Allen, a class of 2020 standout, received his first offer from Vanderbilt in May before adding ones from Georgia and Georgia Tech over the summer.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder competed at the Dabo Swinney Camp in June and caught the attention of Clemson’s coaching staff.
“They like my physicality and how I think when I play,” Allen said. “They told me I don’t play like my age, like I play older than what I am.”
Allen was able to catch up with Clemson defensive line coach Todd Bates and also spoke with defensive coordinator Brent Venables and head coach Dabo Swinney before the Auburn game.
“Coach Bates is the main person I talked to, and he and I have a good relationship,” Allen said. “He told me to keep doing what I’m doing now, and I’ll be set for sure. Coach Venables told me he was glad to see me and hoped to see me some more, and lastly Coach Swinney told me what he expected and what he was looking for.”
Along with Clemson, programs such as Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Ohio State and Southern Cal are showing interest.
Clemson is an early favorite for Allen, who said the Tigers would be in great standing if they offer moving forward.
“They would be at the top,” he said. “It wouldn’t be by a long shot, but they would be at the top.”
Allen also visited Alabama for its game against Colorado State on Saturday.
In 11 games as a freshman last season, Allen recorded 57 tackles and five tackles for loss.
He is ranked by 247Sports as a top-10 defensive end and top-100 prospect in his class.