CJ Allen sat down with me recently on camera for an interview that we planned on airing on DawgsCentral. Unfortunately some technical problems caused the video quality to be too spotty for us to turn into a video segment. Our conversation is printed here in its entirety.
Graham: What’s up, CJ? How are you doing?
CJ Allen: I’m doing good… Thank you for having me
Graham: Absolutely, thanks for coming on… So you made the leap and committed to Georgia back in late June. It seems like the rest of the class has followed behind you here lately. I know you guys are proud of this linebacker trio that has been put together with yourself, Raylen Wilson and now Troy Bowles… Tell me a little bit about the relationship with those guys. Did you talk about playing together?
CJ Allen: Me and Raylen did. Me and Raylen we were on our official visit together. We were just talking about who was the other name possible who we would want at linebacker. So Troy had been named so it was Me, Raylen and Troy… With Troy, I was texting Troy telling him to come and join us and it’d be fun to play together and stuff like that, and then it happened. Even though me and Troy haven’t fully met each other yet I know we’ll have a great relationship just by the things we want to do in life and our goals as linebackers and stuff like that.
Graham: So for you what was it about Georgia that really just stood out… I know you’re from Barnesville and you’re an in-state guy but was there any relationships that really stood out? What was it that stood out for you about Athens?
CJ Allen: Relationships for sure. You know I have a really great relationship with Coach Schumann. My first time there was at a camp and it wasn’t your typical, regular camp… You were just grinding and sweating it out and drilling with Coach Schu at the camp it was great. And you know, I guess I had that feeling from the start… So it just got better and better, the relationship got better and just kept getting deeper in it and seeing things like the educational part. The education part is a plus… And then you know the NFL thing and the way Georgia is developing guys and stuff like that… It’s a great opportunity.
Graham: Do you know what you want to study yet?
CJ Allen: I want to major in Communications so I can do things after football like get into the SEC Network and stuff like that.
Graham: So you want to be like one of those guys covering SEC Media Days last week, yeah?
CJ Allen: Yeah, yeah… Like a DJ Shockley does.
Graham: As you look at the rest of the recruiting class for Georgia… I know Joenel Aguero just committed… But is there any other guys who you got close to on some of your visits that you’ve been communicating with? Who are you tight with in the class?
CJ Allen: AJ Harris, we have a good relationship… Really all of the guys who were there with me the first weekend of visits (That group of visitors included Chris Peal, Lawson Luckie, Pearce Spurlin, Caleb Downs, AJ Harris, Raylen Wilson, Raymond Cottrell and TJ Shanahan as well as Justice Haynes and Arch Manning)… Also you know, Gabe Harris… Gabe and I actually played together in the Georgia Elite Classic in 2020 I think. He and I played in that game together so when he committed I really felt like we already had a good relationship… Just building relationships before we even step on campus.
Graham: So let’s talk about your game a little bit... What do you feel like you’re bringing to the team? What type of linebacker are you? I know you’ve played a lot on both sides of the ball in high-school.
CJ Allen: I’m just trying to bring that Dawg tradition, you know that linebacker tradition, to the University of Georgia… I really want to line up and effect the game, and of course play fast and physical as possible and stop the run game and fill the holes and things like that and get to the quarterback so basically just do it all as far as my game goes, and just take my game to another level.
Graham: You talked a little bit about the development… When looking at what happened with these guys in the draft this year, the trio of linebackers that came out in Dean, Tindall and Quay Walker. Do you feel like You, Wilson and Bowles could be that next trio for UGA?
CJ Allen: Yes sir, most definitely. The goal is to be better. Leave it better than we found it and just keep building off of that and the guys who are there in front of us. Our goal is to be the best we can be and we want to work for it and learn from the older guys.
Graham: Is there any goals you have for your senior year or anything you’re trying to work on?
CJ Allen: I really want to be able to play fast… You know so when you see the film from my senior year and then your turn on my film from the last year you see me being more explosive and being faster… I want to be able to read things faster… I want to have 100 tackles or 200 tackles… Me personally, I don’t have those type of goals because I don’t want to limit it, you know? You can go past things. You know how they say, “The sky is the limit?“But it’s not really the limit you can go past the sky, so I don’t really have those type of set goals. I do just want to play with more technique and just be better than I was last year.
Graham: So when you talk about playing faster… For you, obviously there is the physical part of it, but for you does that also look like spending a lot of time in the film room?
CJ Allen: Oh yes sir, yes sir most definitely. You can play fast, you can try to play at a fast speed, but you can actually be playing slow… When you watch film, see your wrongs and see your rights, you can play faster because you know what’s happening. So definitely. I’m a guy who’s going to know my keys. Basically, I know the physical part is going to take care of itself because I’m putting in the work, but I’m also putting in the work on the mental side.
Graham: That makes sense… Do you think you’ll early enroll at Georgia?
CJ Allen: Yes sir, I plan on being an early enrollee.
Graham: So you really have on semester of being a high-school kid left and then it’s all on.
CJ Allen: Yes sir, it’s all on. I’m ready for it.
Graham: Well best of luck to you on your final high-school season. You really tore it up last year. You had over 1,000 rushing yards and over 90 tackles playing both ways. Are you a tried man at the end of the game?
CJ Allen: Oh yeah for sure, but that’s what coming in is for. I gotta come in and get rehab and get ready for next week.
Graham: Before you go, any other guys in your class that you’re kind of waiting on or hoping to help recruit as a member of the class?
CJ Allen: Yeah, Samuel M’Pemba at IMG Academy and Damon Wilson. Yeah those guys are some elite rushers, you know? So they can help us. We want to get those guys to come up from Florida… When we come in we want to win.