Virginia Tech may be done on the scholarship front for their 2024 high school recruiting class, but they are continuing to land talented preferred walk-on prospects. Standout Salem, VA LB Jaelyn Allen became the latest major preferred walk-on commitment for the Hokies yesterday evening.
I am extremely proud to announce my commitment towards VIRGINIA TECH!! Thank to everyone who helped me along the way!! @CoachPryVT @CoachShawnQuinn @CoachPrioleauVT @Coach_Marve @CoachHolter0623 pic.twitter.com/e0nmvinlTM— Jaelyn Allen (@jaelynallen12) February 1, 2024
Allen committed to the Hokies as a PWO over a scholarship offer from Old Dominion and a PWO opportunity from JMU. He also earned scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Marshall, Richmond, and the University of Charleston at various points in the 2024 recruiting cycle. He becomes the second prominent PWO commit for the Hokies within the past week joining three-star WR LJ Booker from Richmond.
Allen had this to say about why he chose the Hokies.
"Tech was my dream school and felt like the best fit for me," Allen said.
He added this on why he felt comfortable taking a PWO opportunity at Virginia Tech over scholarships and PWO opportunities elsewhere.
"Just being close to home and it being my dream school made it easy. Also, they’re confident in me earning a scholarship and succeeding," Allen said.
His relationship with Tech's coaches also played an important part in his decision to choose Tech.
"It was very important. My main focus was just to see if I was actually wanted at whatever school I was visiting. Tech showed me love and I felt wanted," Allen said.
Tech's coaching staff has also made it clear to him that they feel Allen will fit well in their defense based on what they've seen from him during his time in high school.
"Coach (Shawn) Quinn believes I can play all of the linebacker positions due to how I performed at camp and how well I played this season," Allen said.
Living in the Roanoke Valley, I got to see Allen play a couple times this past season for Salem HS and was surprised that he didn't get more interest, especially with the spotlight that five-star Georgia LB signee Chris Cole and four-star Tennessee RB signee Peyton Lewis brought to Salem. Allen was a rock at the heart of the Salem defense and was not only a First Team All-State LB but also the Defensive Player of the Year for his district and his region.
While Tech could see Allen anywhere in their linebacker corps, I think he's built more like a mike LB and that's where I expect him to work at first. He will absolutely have the potential to compete and push to break into the Tech two-deep that doesn't have many true mike LBs outside of transfer Sam Brumfield, redshirt freshman Aycen Stevens, and walk-on George Ballance who played some as a freshman in 2023.