University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Head Coach Cedric Thomas said from the start that he wants to get as many worthy players from this area as he could, and he took another step toward that goal by receiving a letter of intent from Watson Chapel Wildcats senior athlete Omar Allen on Wednesday.
Allen was the leader for the Wildcats this past season on the field, and he racked up some impressive numbers during his senior campaign, mostly as a running back. Allen rushed for 1,211 yards and 22 touchdowns. Allen also excels in the classroom as he's accumulated a 22 on the ACT, while maintaining 3.9GPA.
Allen is passionate about Watson Chapel, and he eluded to how much he'll miss playing for the Wildcats, and he commended the people who've helped him through his high school journey.
"I'm going to miss it a lot," Allen said. "They groomed me, and I remember coming in behind Trey Cole, and he helped me a lot. My coaches helped me a lot, Coach Glover, my parents, they all helped me to be the player that I am today."
Watson Chapel Head Coach Jared Dutton has always had good things to say about Allen, and without a doubt he believes he has a bright future ahead at the next level.
"Omar was in the seventh and eighth grade whenever I worked with the junior high, so I was with him early on," Dutton said. "Even though he was always undersized he has a humongous heart and a desire to be good. His work ethic is awesome, and every year he got better and better. He's worked himself into the athlete that he is now."
"Omar can do anything he sets his mind to," Dutton added. "Hard work and dedication takes you a long way in this game. He'll do great, I have no doubt about it. He works so hard sometimes that you have to kind of shut him down, and that's hard to come by these days."
The last coaching regime at UAPB had been in contact with Allen, and what really put the icing on the cake is how Coach Thomas made him feel like a priority.
"Before Coach (Monte) Coleman left, I was in contact with him, and when Coach Thomas came that's when everything really sped up. He talked to me a lot, I went on recruiting visits, and I like how they made me feel special."
Thomas has referenced Allen a little on what he expects from him coming in as true freshman.
"They want me to come in and play right off the bat, and that's the thing that I liked about it," Allen said. "Plus I'm at home with family, and they always come to games."
As far as his game on the field, Allen looks to continue to expand it by becoming a more multi-dimensional threat running and catching the football.
"I plan on being an multi-purpose athlete," Allen said. "I see myself in the slot and playing running back at the same time. I don't want to be one-dimensional. Especially with my size I have to be ready to block and bring my all."