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Matt Allen is an avid bass fisherman when he’s not on the football field for Arroyo Grande High – always trying to reel in the big fish.

But he didn’t need his fishing equipment to reel in his biggest catch: His first college football scholarship offer.

The big 6-foot-5, 310-pound right tackle became an NAIA target, announcing he received his first offer from Culver-Stockton College of Canton, Missouri.

Allen had spent most of his offseason showcasing his drive blocking and pass protection skills in front of college coaches representing Azusa Pacific, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA and recently, Cal Poly at the June 22 Mustang camp.

This time, one liberal arts university in the Show Me State let it be known to Allen that his name is high on their Class of 2020 recruiting board.

“It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders in landing my first offer,” Allen said. “It’s always been my dream to play at the next level and to actually get one is a dream come true.”

Allen cites Culver-Stockton recruiting coordinator Roy Cutshaw Jr., who is also an assistant linebacker coach, as the man who rewarded the offer to the Eagle.

On Friday nights at Doug Hitchen Stadium, Allen became one of the primary road clearers for an Eagles team that thrives on wearing teams down with the run. He used his strong upper body and hand placement to drive defensive lineman backwards, then plant the back of their uniform to the grass.

It wasn’t that long ago when Allen was brief teammates with two AGHS stars who went on to Claremont Mudd Scripps: Matt Sill and Sam Ness. Allen admitted being in awe of both Eagle standouts.

“I remember being pulled up to varsity during week 10 of our game against San Luis Obispo as a freshman with Coach Tom Goosen and seeing those guys. And I was thinking I would never get a chance to be at their level,” Allen said. “But after starting on varsity since my sophomore year, it teaches you a lot about the game.”

Now, Allen is one of the elder statesmen anchoring the Eagle front line as they will aim to build on their 8-4 campaign last season – plus stretch the Eagles’ streak of consecutive winning seasons to 11 this fall.

He already believes that he’s becoming a much different lineman than from his junior season. He credits his camp experiences and interactions with college coaches as a chief reason.

“I had a huge leap from last year not only physically but mentally,” Allen said. “Getting to learn football through different coaches at camps really brings out different techniques and new ways to counter defensive line moves both in the running game as well as the passing game.

“This off season I have been working a lot at camps and learning new blocking techniques that I plan to use. I think no matter where I went I know I’ll be ready to play on Saturday’s.”

The Eagles will host San Luis Obispo at the newly revamped Hitchen Stadium on Aug. 23 at 7 p.m.

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