One year after landing one of the best perimeter defenders in the 2012 class in Winston Shepard, San Diego State got even stronger in that regard with the verbal commitment of 2013 small forward Dakarai Allen.
Nephew of former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Larry Allen, Dakarai committing to a school headed to the Big West next season is a big commitment for Steve Fisher’s program.
Allen is their first 2013 commitment, and he apparently had to disregard some negative recruiting tactics when it came to the Aztecs’ future home during the process.
But that ultimately didn’t matter to neither Allen nor his family, and the end result is a Top 100 prospect heading to Montezuma Mesa.
“We don’t really care about that,” said Von Allen, Dakarai’s father and Larry’s brother. “We don’t get caught up in that. We just wanted my son to go a place where he can grow and thrive.”
From a skill standpoint Allen also said that he takes a lot from watching former San Diego State forward Kawhi Leonard, who developed into an All-American and a first round draft pick in his two seasons at SDSU.
But Allen sees himself more like another Aztec: Kawhi Leonard, the first-round draft choice (and rookie starter) of the San Antonio Spurs after two seasons at SDSU.
“Seeing what they did with Kawhi was a big influence,” said Allen, who doesn’t turn 18 until February and, based on doctors’ projections, expects to grow to 6-7. “I see myself trying to be just like him. I try to model my game after his.”
Allen, who attends Sheldon High in Elk Grove, California (just outside of Sacramento), joins a program that already has two Sacramento natives in junior guard Xavier Thames and senior guard Chase Tapley.
Tapley won’t be on campus in 2013 (neither will fellow seniors James Rahon and DeShawn Stephens) but when considering the talent that should be back, adding Allen means that San Diego State will have the pieces needed to remain in the national polls regardless of their conference affiliation.
Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.