17-year-old Jake Allen isn’t known for his Spanish.
But here at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, there’s another language Allen is much better at reading…
X’s and O’s.
“I actually took my grandparents up to the Spring game and they had the most amazing time,” said Allen, the rising high school senior said. “They were like ‘Man I want to go to Florida, why can’t I enroll?'”
Allen led the Raiders to a 7A state championship last season, the ninth football state title in school history.
For a high school junior, his resume is pretty impressive. He’s a four-star quarterback according to ESPN, Rivals, and other recruiting services. He’s won multiple quarterback MVP awards at prominent high school football camps (The Opening, Rivals). He’s a finalist for the Elite 11, a Nike-sponsored competition for the best high school quarterbacks across the country.
But what does Allen do when he’s not throwing footballs?
“Twitter, I’m always on Twitter. I don’t know why, it’s just twitter,” Allen said.
Jake has over 7000 followers on Twitter and he’s not even a senior in high school.
“I think the day I committed, I got a thousand or so followers on Twitter or so, Twitter was blowing up that day, it was definitely a fun thing,” Allen remembers. “Well you just have to be responsible. You can’t do anything bad because everyone is watching.”
Everyone is watching, and not only fans, but other top recruits. Allen is using social media to recruit other elite prospects to come play for the Gators.
“Being a quarterback, you are a leader of the team and I want to make sure I have guys around me that can play. If I have to take that into my own hands, I’m gonna do it. I want the best guys around me,” Allen said.
But Allen doesn’t follow everyone, at least not right away. Just ask his Dad.
“I think it took three or four months for him to actually follow me,” said Tim Allen, Jake’s father. “He’s become such a leader online with social media and recruiting other players and I’m very impressed.”
Student athletes these days have to do their best on the field, in the classroom, and now online.
“You know it’s a responsibility. You have to watch everything you do on Twitter. You slip up once, hey, you never know that scholarship could be gone.”