UCLA's lead in the recruitment of four-star wide receiver Devon Allen isn't insurmountable. But the race to secure his services can't be described as tight, either. Not anymore.
In fact, if left to his own devices, the Phoenix Brophy Prep star would already be a Bruin.
His weekend trip to UCLA made that level of impact. He left Los Angeles on Monday as an uncommitted prospect, but things could be different if it wasn't for a bit of advice.
"Me and my dad were kind of talking about it, and he wants me to make sure that's where I want to go," Allen said on Tuesday. "I'm going to take my time on it."
It wasn't just the recent official visit that has Allen, who will also run track in college, on the verge of making a choice. UCLA has been seen as the leader for weeks now. Last weekend was just the latest nudge.
The visit itself was standard; meetings, meals, a football game, all the usual fare. It's the details, however, that stick in Allen's mind.
"I got picked up from the airport by (Olympic gold medalist) Maurice Green, the track guy." Allen said. "That was pretty awesome. He's helping coach at UCLA. That was a highlight. I had dinner at a nice restaurant and had breakfast on the beach with the football coaches."
The other major bullet point on Allen's account of the visit concerns his potential role in the program. He heard what he needed to hear from wide receivers coach Eric Yarber and left that meeting comfortable with his niche.
"They want me to stretch the field out and make plays that way," Allen said. "They like my upside. They like my speed and my size. They like my ability to go get a ball. They seem very excited, so that was pretty cool."
Standing between Allen and a verbal pledge to UCLA is his official visit to Stanford, which has been set for Oct. 27. The trip will represent the final opportunity for the Cardinal, which remain in a somewhat close second, to break his UCLA lean.
Then, there's the long shot.
Allen has recently set an official track visit to Oregon, which he has been invited to attend as a sprinter and a football walk-on. He calls it his "dream school from the start," but isn't thrilled by the circumstances under which the Ducks have come knocking. That said, he's prepared to give it whirl.
"They are only taking one receiver this year," Allen said of the Oregon coaching staff. "They said that if I come there and break the top two on the depth chart, they'll put me on a football scholarship. If not, they'll just redshirt me and I'll run track the first year. Then, the next year, they'll put me on a football scholarship.
"I want to check Oregon out, but I've kind of already decided that UCLA and Stanford are better places for me. I'm just going to see if they have anything that can make me change my mind."
His Oregon visit is set for the first weekend of November. Allen says a decision on a commitment will be made shortly after its conclusion.