Chase Allen is headed to a homecoming at Iowa State.
The Nixa High School senior announced Friday that he has accepted a football scholarship offer and will sign with the Cyclones. He chose Iowa State over Michigan, Nebraska and 16 other NCAA Division I teams.
“It’s a huge weight off my shoulders,” Allen said. “I couldn’t be more excited about the school I chose, and I’m really content with my decision.”
As a senior, Allen played tight end and middle linebacker for Richard Rehagen’s Eagles. He caught 33 passes for 654 yards and scored seven touchdowns. He also logged 92 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and three sacks, good enough for all-state status and the top spot on Nixa’s tackling chart.
Allen’s father, former Missouri State football coach Terry Allen, has had a significant role in Chase’s recruitment that led to 19 scholarship offers from NCAA Division I football programs. Chase said his dad also helped him avoid any potential pitfalls of being a highly-sought recruit.
“A lot of people think that kids are going to go to the biggest school that offers them because of the name associated with it, and they really don’t take into account the best fit for them,” Chase Allen said. “It took a lot of courage to say ‘Iowa State,’ the easy way out would have been Nebraska or Michigan, but I’m very happy.”
Academics are a significant portion of Allen’s college choice.
“I’m planning to be a mechanical engineer and they have one of the best engineering programs in the Midwest, and mechanical engineering is the biggest major on campus,” Allen said.
Terry Allen said in a prior interview that being on the opposite end of the recruitment process after 35 years coaching college football was interesting.
“It’s been a lot of fun, it’s been crazy to be on a different side of things, but it’s been a wonderful experience,” Terry Allen said.
Terry Allen left Kansas in 2002 to become an associate head coach at Iowa State, where he coached the Cyclones’ special teams for four seasons. Terry Allen left Ames to coach Missouri State in 2006, and he coached the Bears until the end of the 2014 season.
Allen renewed his friendship with then-Cyclones head coach Dan McCarney who was Allen’s high school track coach in Iowa City. The Cyclones went to three bowl games with Allen coaching special teams in four years.
“I grew up a Cyclone fan,” Chase Allen said. “I idolized the program from a young age.”
Iowa State went 3-9 this past season, which resulted in the ousting of coach Paul Rhoads and the hiring of Matt Campbell from Toledo.
A piece in the Des Moines Register from Dec. 27, 2015 discussed Campbell’s emphasis on faith and family in addition to football.
At Toledo, Campbell invited a different position group over to his house once a week for dinner.
“We’re going to demand a lot of our players,” Campbell said. “We’ll be hard. It’s going to be really hard. It’s not going to be easy. But, we’re going to love them and we’re going to care about them.”
The Iowa State football recruiting class is a mix of prospects who committed to play for Rhoads, some who had planned to play for Campbell at Toledo and others who Campbell recruited once he started working at Iowa State.
The News-Leader will have more from Chase Allen after the press conference.