Football

Syracuse lands Oklahoma transfer Allen

Drew Allen, a quarterback who played the past three seasons at Oklahoma, has transferred to Syracuse, Rivals.com reported on Friday. Allen was a redshirt junior last season and will be eligible to play immediately for the Orange after graduating from OU. He has one season of eligibility remaining.

Allen was originally a three-star recruit and the No. 38 quarterback in his class coming out of Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio. He chose the Sooners over offers from Mississippi, Oklahoma State and Purdue, among others.

Now he chooses SU over offers from North Carolina State and Maryland. At 6 feet, 5 inches and 226 pounds, Allen has ideal size for a quarterback with the mobility to run the ball in an option-style offense, as well as excellent arm strength.

Coming out of high school his largest criticism was his throwing motion. Brian Dohn of Scout.com likened it to a baseball pitch, but he’s spent four seasons working under Josh Heupel, who is regarded as one of the top quarterback coaches in the nation.

Don Byrd, now the coach at Central Catholic Marianist (Texas) High School, coached Allen at Alamo Heights. He watched him last year at spring practice and has seen marked improvement from his high school days after his work with Heupel.

“I’ve seen him up there at spring training,” Byrd said, “and he has one of the best throwing motions there is.”

He spent the past three seasons on the bench behind Landry Jones at Oklahoma, who is projected as a second or third round pick in this month’s NFL Draft.

He arrives at Syracuse with the Orange in the midst of an open quarterback competition. Charley Loeb entered as the presumed favorite as Ryan Nassib’s backup last season, but Terrel Hunt got the majority of the first-team snaps in Sunday’s open practice. John Kinder worked exclusively with the second team.

“He’s got all the ability to play for OU,” Byrd said, “just (Sam) Bradford got hurt, and Landry stepped in, and Drew wasn’t ready, and Landry performed well enough where Drew didn’t get a shot to break in.”

Hunt and Kinder were both three-star recruits coming out of high school, while Loeb was a two-star prospect. Allen will likely join SU in the summer along with incoming freshmen Mitch Kimble and Austin Wilson to add even more options in Syracuse’s quarterback competition.

But none of them bring the pedigree that Allen has as a former Texas high school star and a Big 12 veteran who completed 60 percent of his 30 passes at Oklahoma. In a wide-open competition, Allen figures to factor prominently into the Orange’s plans for the near future.

“He’s come along very well,” Byrd said. “He’s done all the things that he needs to do to play college quarterback, he just hasn’t had a shot to get on the field.

“I think it’ll be a great opportunity for him.”

Top Stories

Remembrance Week 2014

Shaping grief

Suse Lowenstein started Dark Elegy a month after the bombing killed her son, Alex Lowenstein, a 21-year-old SU student. Dark Elegy was a way for Lowenstein to work through her grief. Read more »