Nobody is going to mistake Illinois for Alabama. That's not the point, though. Following Arizona State's 45-14 mugging of the Illini on Saturday, plenty of people left the stadium rightfully impressed. That group included four-star wide receiver Devon Allen.
Don't confuse Allen's approval for surprise. Was he pleased with what he saw on Saturday's unofficial visit? extremely. Was it anything different that what he expected? Not at all.
"Meeting with (Todd Graham) a few times in the past, I could tell he really has the team all in for the program," he said. "That's pretty cool. I like that. They look awesome. Offense is playing well, defense is playing well. That's all you can ask for."
The Sun Devils remain in his top six, along with Arkansas, Stanford, Notre Dame, Texas and UCLA. So whether or not his short trip to Tempe changed anything is unclear. Still, his interest in ASU doesn't seem to be a case of an in-state player letting his hometown school hang around in his recruitment as a courtesy. No, this is real.
With every solid performance, Graham is his making his case on the recruiting trail. Allen admits the decision to leave his home state --- if he should make it - won't be as easy as he once thought.
"I wouldn't mind staying in state at all," said Allen, who will also compete on the track team of whichever school he chooses. "ASU has a great track program as well. They're top in the Pac 12 and top in the nation every year. They have guys coming in from all over the country."
Arkansas is next on Allen's visit list. The speedy wide receiver will take an official to Fayetteville on Sept. 22. He also has a trip to Texas set. The Longhorns and Stanford are considered to be the two frontrunners, but it seems ASU will have every chance to sway the Phoenix product.
You can hear the change of opinion in his voice. The more he talks, the more likely it seems that the Sun Devils will become a major player and the recipient of one of Allen's three remaining official visits.
"I'll probably be back at ASU this year," Allen said. "I don't know if I'll take an official yet. I might, though. I'll probably end up taking an official there."
Allen says he's also considering a visit to UCLA, but hasn't made a final ruling on that front.