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We’re still wrapping up the 2016 recruiting cycle and, frankly, 2018 feels extremely far away. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start looking ahead at some potential targets for the Syracuse University football staff, does it? One such name to keep in the back of your mind is RaShawn Allen.

The speedy sophomore running back from Michigan powerhouse program Orchard Lake St. Mary’s is an impressive looking prospect at 5-foot-9, 190 pounds, and claims a time of 4.5 in the 40. While I’m not sure how accurate that number is, in watching his highlights, it certainly¬†looks¬†about right. The young running back played in a crowded backfield as a sophomore on the varsity for St. Mary’s, but when he got the ball he did some impressive things with it.

In one regional game during his team’s state championship run, he rushed eight times…for 200 yards. It’s easy to see how he was able to put up such big numbers, given his home run ability coupled with some terrific balance for a player his age. Right now, Allen is listed as an “athlete” by 247Sports, and that’s accurate. He is indeed one heck of an athlete, and could play in the secondary if he doesn’t stick at running back. However, based on his sophomore highlights, he looks like he’s on his way to becoming a highly sought after RB target. He’s a smooth runner who does a nice job keeping his feet even when taking contact. Next season he’ll get a lot more work as the team’s leading rusher was a senior this year, so we’ll really begin getting a feel for the level of prospect he ends up becoming.

Michigan hasn’t been a state Syracuse has hit on the recruiting trail all too often in the past, but with Vinson Reynolds and Mike Hart on the staff, that’s about to change. Reynolds is well known and respected as a recruiter in the Detroit area, and Hart’s reputation in the state is obviously sterling. As the next year or two pass, I fully expect the Orange to take a long look at Allen as a potential recruit at the running back position.

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Jeff is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University, and has been published on various websites including Cracked.com, Spike.com, TheSportster.com, Gunaxin.com, and TopTenz.net, among others. His work was featured in the New York Times bestselling book You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. He’s got a wife, and a toddler he’s brainwashing to love Syracuse. Jeff’s a pretty great guy, overall, and would never steal your car. Follow him on Twitter: @jekelish