Senior defensive end Jordan Allen is seeking a transfer, and LSU granted him permission to talk to other teams Wednesday morning.
"I'm free to talk with whoever I want who is not in the SEC and is not (on LSU's out of conference schedule)," Allen said. "That's whatever, that's ok. That's pretty much where I'm at right now. Now I'm able to talk to some of them.
"I've communicated with a coach over at (Louisiana Lafayette) just to hear what they had to say, because they found out and wanted to talk to me as soon as they could. ... That's not my only option, but it's my first one."
LSU declined to comment on Allen's status through team spokesman Michael Bonnette, saying it was an internal matter.
Allen is not officially released from his scholarship yet. In order for Allen -- a fifth-year senior -- to participate on the field next season, he'd need to enroll in grad school.
And that, at least in part, is why Allen is leaving LSU. He received an undergraduate degree from LSU, but wasn’t able to get into the grad school program. While he still would’ve been able to take the field for LSU this season, his class schedule wasn’t working toward anything.
"Schooling is a big thing,” Allen said. "If I’m going to be in school taking classes, I don’t want to be pursuing something that I don’t know the end to – which is what I feel like I’m doing right now as far as the classes that I’m taking right now. It’s not really the classes, but it’s the path I’m on, I don’t really know what it is.”
"The fact that I’m able to pursue a graduate degree is really huge, because I want everything I do in life to mean something.”
As far as where he’ll be attending school this fall, Allen isn’t that far along yet.
He said location doesn’t really matter to him, though he wouldn’t be able to play college ball for his hometown Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks since they’re on LSU’s schedule this season. What Allen said he’s concerned about is finding the right fit, both on the field and off.
"I’m going to pick out a decent number of schools where I want to go take visits,” Allen said. "I’m going to do this right and make sure that whatever school it is will be the best fit for me in my final year, because it’s only one year.”
Allen had participated in spring camp drills with the team, but had been absent in recent practices.The former four-star recruit was expected to compete for a starting job this season with junior defensive end Danielle Hunter. He is no longer participating in team activities.
While Allen said he would’ve liked to have finished his career at LSU, he realized that things don’t always work out that way.
"Of course the ideal situation is to stay at LSU your entire career and leave from there,” Allen said.
"Obviously that doesn’t happen with every athlete that comes through here. But nonetheless, I graduated from here. This is my alma mater for my bachelor’s degree, and it’s where I learned to play college football. I learned to play with the best of them here.”
He declined to give any football related reasons for his transfer, though reading between the lines will show that it wasn’t always easy for Allen, who missed all but one game of his redshirt sophomore season with an injury.
"The way that the four years have gone for me here, I’ve had a lot of great times and a lot of rough situations that I’ve been through,” Allen said. "But I feel like, if anything, I worked through everything I was expected to work through. Right now, this isn’t a matter of ‘Can I work through it?’ This isn’t a matter of ‘Can I finish here?’ This is a matter of what is the best career decision for Jordan Allen.”
With Allen out of the picture, LSU will likely rely on a number of youngsters to take his snaps. Sophomore Tashawn Bower played in six games at defensive end last season, recording three tackles. The Tigers also have redshirt freshmen Lewis Neal and Frank Herron, senior Justin Maclin and incoming freshman Diondre Clark at the position.
Allen had 16 tackles and two sacks in 13 games last season, his first seeing regular playing time.
He was rated as the top defensive end in Louisiana coming out of West Monroe high school. After biding his time on a deep defensive front for a couple years, he suffered a season-ending injury in the first game of his redshirt sophomore season.