For a while, it seemed like Jaden Allen was destined to play alongside his brother at Texas. Instead, he chose Arkansas football as his future home Friday morning.
The four-star cornerback from Aledo, Texas, backed off his pledge to the Longhorns on Feb. 25 and, about two months later, announced he’d play for the Razorbacks via a post on Instagram. He picked Arkansas over a final three that also included Alabama and Tennessee.
As a 2024 prospect, Allen will be part of the first freshman class that plays in the 16-team SEC that includes Oklahoma and Texas. Assuming he sticks to his commitment and his brother — safety B.J. Allen Jr. — doesn’t transfer from the Longhorns, there could be a brotherly clash from 2024-26, adding a unique twist to the historic rivalry.
The younger Allen has a four-star rating on Rivals and in the 247Sports Composite, which combines all of the major recruiting services, but is a high three-star recruit on 247Sports, ESPN and On3.
Rivals is especially high on Allen. He was once ranked as high as No. 24 overall last summer, but has since settled in at No. 132. His .8985 rating is good for No. 353 in the 247Sports Composite.
Allen joins what is quickly shaping up to be a loaded class, as he is the sixth commitment and all but one of them is a four-star recruit.
The Razorbacks previously landed defensive end Kavion Henderson and quarterback KJ Jackson Alabama, plus athletes Noreel White and Julius Pope from Mississippi. The lone three-star commit is defensive tackle Dion Stutts from Memphis.
The Recruitment of Jaden Allen
As the younger brother of a consensus top-200 prospect in the 2022 class, Jaden Allen has been known on the recruiting trail for a long time. However, he didn’t just ride the coattails of his brother.
Playing at Texas powerhouse Aledo High School, Allen earned playing time as a freshman and even notched an interception while helping the Bearcats win their fourth straight state title.
In the months following that season, he picked up offers from Mississippi State, USC and Deion Sanders at Jackson State. They followed LSU, which offered in September of his freshman year after securing a commitment from his brother earlier in the year.
However, Texas and head coach Steve Sarkisian successfully flipped the older Allen in February 2021 and then extended a scholarship to the younger Allen in June. It was more than six months later, but Jaden Allen decided he wanted to join his brother in Austin and committed to the Longhorns.
That commitment lasted nearly 14 months before he backed off on Feb. 25. In the time between his offer and de-commitment from Texas, Allen enjoyed two more successful seasons at Aledo.
As a sophomore, he made 28 tackles with six pass breakups and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown, but the Bearcats’ perfect season ended in the third round of the playoffs. Those numbers jumped up to 48 tackles, 11 pass breakups and three interceptions (one pick-six) last year as a junior and Aledo regained its crown as the Texas Class 5A-DI champion.
In his three seasons on the varsity squad, Allen has helped the Bearcats compile a 39-4 record. He has also been a standout on the track team, as he was clocked at 10.96 seconds in the 100-meter dash last April. For perspective, other recent Razorbacks to crack the 11-second mark in high school include current wide receivers Isaiah Sategna and Bryce Stephens, plus former quarterback Malik Hornsby.
After Nick Saban came by his school multiple times to see him, Allen returned the favor by visiting Tuscaloosa after receiving an offer from Alabama on Jan. 15, which likely played a role in him opening up his recruitment again.
He told TideIllustrated, the Alabama Rivals site, that the two schools that immediately reached out following his de-commitment were Tennessee and Arkansas.
Within a week, Allen was in Fayetteville for Prospect Day and he returned home with an offer from the Razorbacks. Following that trip, he said he planned to return for an official visit this summer after hitting it off with defensive back coaches Marcus Woodson and Deron Wilson, the Arkansas football assistants hired this offseason who have already made headway in helping land other talented recruits and transfers in the last few months.
“Coach Woodson and Coach Wilson are super cool,” Allen told Pig Trail Nation afterward. “Can definitely see myself playing for those guys.”
He also made a trip to Knoxville, but Allen didn’t wait until the summer to make his way back to Arkansas. He was in town last weekend for the Red-White spring game and apparently enjoyed it so much that he couldn’t wait any longer to commit to Arkansas.
2024 Arkansas Recruiting Class
Here’s a list of the Razorbacks’ current commitments in the Class of 2024…
- DE Kavion Henderson — Leeds (Ala.) — Nov. 6, 2022
- DT Dion Stutts — Memphis (Tenn.) University School — March 11, 2023
- ATH Noreel White — Ocean Springs (Miss.) St. Martin — March 13, 2023
- ATH JuJu Pope — Batesville (Miss.) South Panola — April 8, 2023
- QB KJ Jackson — Montgomery (Ala.) St. James — April 9, 2023
- CB Jaden Allen — Aledo (Texas) — April 21, 2023
Check out some highlights of new Arkansas football commit Jaden Allen:
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