ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia offensive line coach Will Friend has a tough job. He has to find and train the players that can keep his quarterbacks upright and that can open holes in defenses -- SEC defenses at that. So when offensive tackle Pat Allen showed up at the Mark Richt Camp on Saturday, Friend put the 6-foot-5, 283-pound senior through drill after drill.
Allen didn't mind. In fact, his first visit to Athens seemed to have gone quite well.
"It was great," Allen said. "I loved the visit. The coaching staff was amazing and the area was awesome."
At the end of the one-on-one drills, Allen was battered and covered in sweat having bested almost every foe Friend could throw at him. Despite one punch to the throat and an inadvertent left cross, Allen was smiling as Georgia head coach Mark Richt cracked jokes and congratulated Allen on a strong showing.
"They were trying to see if I could be a Dawg," Allen said.
The coaching staff obviously thinks Allen could be or they would not have offered four-star prospect from Reisterstown, Md., a few weeks ago. Friend and Georgia offensive graduate assistant Dan Inman have been recruiting Allen hard ever since, even before he ever set his size-16 shoes on the practice field at UGA.
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"Those are my guys," Allen said. "I talk to Coach Inman a lot. I could talk to Coach Inman and Coach Friend all day. We can have those types of conversations that relate to football and those that relate to life at the same time. Coach Inman is funny. I know he was a former player so he can give me intel on what it's like playing there. He is a fun dude to talk to."
The Bulldogs are in Allen's top group of schools he is considering.
"Right now it's Oklahoma, Georgia, Ohio State, Florida State and Michigan," Allen said.
Allen has had Georgia on his mind for a while now.
"They are a school that I have been watching since I was little," Allen said. "My dad liked the school. I thought it was a really good program."
He even remembers when he first started watching the Bulldogs, back in 2005.
"It was a specific game against LSU," Allen said. "I think it was the SEC Championship. I was watching that and it was a good game. Since then I have kept my eye on them."
Originally from St. Louis, Allen said the idea of playing far from his home in Maryland doesn't bother him.
"I am used to moving around so I don't mind moving from state to state," Allen said. "I like meeting new people."