Freddie Roach is a man on a mission in 2017. The Rebels’ new defensive line coach is in his first assistant coach role after being an off-the-field staffer at Alabama and he is not pulling any punches. And now he has secured his 5th commitment for the 2018 class with a verbal pledge from defensive tackle Allen Love.
Love, a three-star defensive tackle from Birmingham, Ala., has verbally committed to Ole Miss despite heavy interest from Bobby Petrino and the Louisville Cardinals. The Huffman High School senior joins fellow commitments Deuntra Hyman, Israel Antwine, K.D. Hill and Quentin Bivens to form a pretty good crop of Rush Men for Coach Roach.
The No. 57 defensive tackle by 247Sports and the No. 43 player in Alabama. K.D. chose the Rebs over offers from Bowling Green, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, N.C. State, Purdue, Rutgers, Southern Miss, UCF and interest from Alabama, Auburn and South Carolina.
How does he fit in?
The 6’3, 285-pounder impressed the Ole Miss coaches at their elite camp last week with his quick first step and strength coming off the ball and he will only get better. Allen utilizes his length at the point of attack extremely well, using his long arms to fend off offensive linemen while finding the ball carrier and pursuing the football. He plays both end and tackle in high school but he will make his impact for Ole Miss on the interior. At 6’3, he will have a height advantage over most centers and his quickness will help him beat slower guards.
Love still has another year of high school to get bigger, faster and stronger, but when he arrives in Oxford his impact will be felt even more when he gets to work with Paul Jackson. The most impressive thing in my opinion is that he gets laterally very quickly when the football is going away from him. And as a fella hovering around 300-pounds, that’s not the easiest thing to do. Love is someone who has the frame and measurables to be an instant impact guy when he gets to campus and there will be plenty of opportunities when he gets to the 662.
The Rebels will lose Benito Jones, Garrald McDowell and Breeland Speaks on the interior in the next couple years, but Love will join Hill and Bivens as the newest tackles in the 2018 class who will be stepping in to replace them. Love is a big-bodied tackle who reminds me a little of Benito with his tall frame and impressive quickness. He plays all over the field for a 7A program in Alabama and has impressive athleticism for an interior lineman. This is another good get for Coach Roach.