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The Nebraska coaches have been making the rounds on the recruiting trail from coast to coast, and one of their recent stops was Holy Cross High in New Orleans (La.). NU quarterback coach and offensive coordinator Jay Norvell came to their campus to evaluate running back Moncell Allen and receiver/quarterback Lance LaCoste.
"Coach Norvell came in about two weeks ago now, when we were in spring practice," Holy Cross coach Chris LaMothe said. "He watched film and when he left I took him over to get the transcripts on the kids. He said that they're going to offer Moncell, and they're going to continue to watch Lance at quarterback."
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So far, Moncell Allen has been offered by USC, UCLA, Ole Miss, and now Nebraska.
"Moncell is the proto-type short, quick running back that so many are looking for right now. He's 5-foot-9, 228-pounds, and right before spring he maxed-out on the squat at 585 pounds, and the bench at 315 pounds. He's a real strong, powerful kid. He can run over people and he is elusive too. He's had a lot of long runs for touchdowns and he rarely gets caught from behind."
Allen has topped 1,000 yards rushing in each of his first three high school seasons.
"He started as a freshman for us, and since we've been mostly a passing team, he's had less than 200 carries each of those years. Our head coach is Barry Wilson, and he coached collegiately at LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Iowa State. We run the college offense that Barry ran at Iowa State. Consequently, Moncell's pass-protection is excellent, which probably goes unnoticed because of his running ability.
"Last year, he had less receiving yards because we didn't release him out of the backfield due to the inexperience of our offensive line. He picks up the blitz real well. We threw the ball 260 times last season and we only had 10 sacks for one reason - and that was Moncell's ability to pass-protect. Barry says he's one of the best high school running backs he's ever season, even when he was recruiting as a college coach. He runs with power and explosiveness, he's quick through the hole, and his hands are excellent."
With four offers on the table, Allen says that one school is head and shoulders above the others at the moment.
"Yes sir, the school I'd like to go to is USC," Allen said. "Just because I like their coaching staff and I liked their campus from the pictures I've seen. I'm in love with California and Hollywood. I'll take an official visit there for sure."
He's not foreclosing the possibility of selecting another school, however.
This was a free sample of a Huskers Illustrated recruiting update. Click here for a free 7-day trial membership."Ole Miss is a great school too," Allen said. "I went to their junior day, and I know coach Frank Wilson real good. I had a great time on my visit there and I plan to camp there too. UCLA and Nebraska are good schools too, and if I had a chance to go there, I'd go. I had contact with the Nebraska coach when he came to our school, but I couldn't talk to him. He called me when I wasn't home and I plan on calling him this week."
Allen's teammate Lance LaCoste is also drawing his fair share of interest.
"Lance has offers from Northwestern and Vanderbilt," coach LaMothe said. "Both have offered him as a wide receiver. Nebraska likes Lance at receiver too, but they wanted to evaluate him at quarterback too because of his athleticism. He's a hard-working kid, and probably one of the best athletes at our school. He's started since his sophomore year for the baseball, basketball and football teams. He could have started as freshman for us, but his father wanted him to play quarterback and we already had an excellent quarterback who just graduated for us this year."
Holy Cross' quarterback for the 2004 season was Sean Santos who signed with Northwestern State. Santos threw for over 2,300 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior, but even though he had an excellent arm, his 5-foot-11 height scared some schools away.
"Sean came within nine yards of breaking the single season passing record in the state of Kentucky. He broke some of the passing records of Peyton Manning, and several publications named him as the No. 1 signee for Division IAA. He's the reason Lance played receiver for us the past two years. Lance had 48 catches for over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior."
LaCoste showed in the spring that he will be an able replacement as a signal caller.
"Lance had an excellent spring for us. He ended up 15-21 passing for 200 yards in our spring game, and 8-12 for 190 yards in the scrimmage the week before. We'll run some option with him and the Utah stuff in the gun-option, to take advantage of his athleticism. I think Lance will probably throw for 2,000 yards this year, and rush for another 5-600 yards.
"He's a great kid and a great student. He had a 4.0 GPA for the spring semester, and he's already made 20 on his ACT. He doesn't care if he plays quarterback or receiver in college. He's a real serious, hard worker, and even though he plays every sport he won't miss any of our seven O'clock workouts for football."
Huskeronline.com will continue to track this Holy Cross duo throughout the summer and fall.
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