It didn’t take Dennis Gile very long to recognize the potential of newest pupil when Kyle Allen started working out with the Arizona-based quarterback coach two years ago.
“After two weeks with him, I told his dad, ‘I will make your son the number one quarterback in the country,’” Giles said of the 2014 quarterback from Scottsdale’s Desert Mountain High School.
“I said, ‘Mark my words, I will make your son the number one quarterback in the country.’ He just kind of looked at me and kind of giggled.”
Nobody is giggling anymore as Allen will enter his senior season ranked as the nation’s top prep quarterback by at least one scouting service. He’s seen an already heavy recruitment explode in recent months and currently holds offers from major programs across the country including Notre Dame, Alabama, Ohio State and UCLA along with Arizona and Arizona State among several others.
Allen has grown a few inches in the last year and now checks in around 6-foot-3, and 200 pounds.
“That growth spurt was huge,” Gile said. “I think that helped out tremendously because now he has the size and he’s the total package.”
The legit frame may be the last piece to the puzzle for the talented prospect.
“I’ve worked with the best of the best over the last four years – people like Brett Hundley, Connor Brewer, Jeff Driskell and Sean Renfree,” said Gile “Between me and my partner, Mike Giovando, we’ve had the number one high school quarterback like five out of the last eight years.
“To be honest, I haven’t seen anyone like him. He’s probably the best quarterback to ever come out of Arizona, ever.”
And that includes Gile, who played at Central Missouri State before a stint in the NFL and the Arena League.
“It’s not just the way he throws the football, a lot of kids can throw the football,” Gile said. “He’s just so mechanically sound. He throws the ball proper. He understands when he does something wrong. He can correct himself.”
It can be easy for young quarterbacks to let their mechanics slip once they get into games in the fall, but that’s rarely the case with Allen and when it is, he’s the first to notice.
“He knows what’s going on,” said Gile. “He’s at a level of maturity - athletically and mentally - of a starting college quarterback already. His intangibles are unbelievable. He has that leadership skill of someone like a Tim Tebow.”
In terms of leadersiphp, the Tebow comparison is an especially impressive one considering Gile and Giovando have been working with the Heisman Trophy winner for the last few months.
“He has this quality about him,” Gile said of Allen. “He’s such a good kid. He just has everything you would want out of a quarterback to start at the Division-I level. There’s been a couple of kids like that, but not every single thing, not at this age. He has a cannon, he’s accurate. He can run, he’s strong. He’s getting bigger and bigger and bigger. I think he’s up to 6-3 now. He has everything you want.
“It’s rare at the high school level. Not a lot of kids have it.”
Gile has had the chance to watch several of the nation’s top high school quarterbacks over the last few years and Allen sticks out.
“A lot of these kids can sling the ball around the yard, but you never hear a word out of them,” he said. “They’re quiet or they’re not big vocal leaders. Kyle is rare. You don’t see it every day.”
Some are born with that leadership quality while others can be taught it by their parents and/or role models. In Allen’s case, it could be both.
“We’ve built a good bond over the last two and a half years,” said Gile. “His parents are really good parents and very good people. I think they instilled in him how to be a good person, how to follow directions, how to be a good student, how to be a leader. You have to give a lot of that credit to his parents. Those are the type of parents any kid would want.
“I think he just trusts me 100 percent. He went from being a sophomore and nobody knowing who he was to being the most-recruited quarterback in the entire country. I think he believes in me as his quarterback coach. I think he can hear me in him at all times.”
When Allen started working with Gile a couple of years ago, he had a long, looping motion, according to his quarterback coach.
“All of those intangibles, his athleticism, his dedication, how smart he was, how good of a kid he was, his arm strength, he was doing a lot of things good without proper mechanics,” Gile said.
“When he started doing some things the proper way, I was like, ‘Wow!’ You don’t see too many sophomores throwing the ball 70 yards and they can throw a touch pass, hit guys on the run, hitting a crossing route after having to flip his hips at the last second, understanding the game.”
Allen reminded Giles of Hundley and Renfree, “Some of the things I saw those guys create before they went to college and when they were in college, he had those things as a sophomore.”
Notre Dame wasn’t planning to take a quarterback in the Class of 2014 until Gunner Kiel decided to transfer, but once the Irish did, Allen was one of the first new offers from Brian Kelly and Gile wasn’t surprised.
“Obviously, Coach Kelly knows what he wants in a quarterback,” Gile said. “He’s probably seen on film that Kyle can run a pro-style offense. He can run a spread offense. His intangibles would allow him to run any offense.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily schools saying, ‘Well, we’re this type of offense, so we need this quarterback.’ I think people see Kyle and say, ‘This kid can do anything.’”
Kelly wouldn’t have to tailor his system much for Allen.
“He fits that offense,” said Gile. “He can do pretty much anything you want him to do. Look at the tight ends they have every year, the receivers, the running backs, the coaching staff they have now, he would shine there, no question about it.”
Ultimately, Gile sees Allen succeeding at the highest level of the game.
“I have NFL guys I work with, I have college guys, I have high schools guys,” he said.
“I don’t say this very often, but I think Kyle Allen will be playing on Sundays one day. No question about it. That’s a goal of his. It’s not a dream, it’s a goal. That’s what he wants to do.”