Redshirt sophomore guard Matt Allen has decided to transfer to another school. It is not known where he is going, but say it may be Texas A&M.
Matt Allen was the last remaining offensive lineman from the disappointing 2006 offensive line class, no member of which remains on the team. Zhamal Thomas was dismissed for off-field issues. Steven Singleton left the team for reasons unknown. Injuries forced the end of Mark Snyder's career, and now Matt Allen has decided to go in another direction.
As I wrote back in March of 2007, not all attrition is bad. Because of the dreaded 85/25 rule, attrition is a necessary part of big-time college football. As a reminder, the 85/25 rule says that a college football program can add as many as 25 new scholarship players per year, but can only have 85 scholarship players at a time. It means that you can bring in 25 scholarship players per year, but after 3 years you're going to have to worry about that 85-number.
When a player does not develop as hoped and appears to not be able to be a solid contributor, the best thing for the team and that player is that he move on to another program where he will play more. This frees up a scholarship for that year and allows a team to add a new young player who may develop better.
Such is the case with Matt Allen. He has been in the system for two years, redshirting his first year and then not playing a down in his second year. In the Spring, he was passed by players who have not been in the system as long as he has, and apparently has been passed by Will Blackwell, who is coming over from the defensive line. With another big class of offensive linemen reporting in June, Matt saw the handwriting on the wall and decided to move on to another school and another team.
I recall that in the 2007 offseason, a lot of people thought highly of Matt Allen. They saw a mean-streak in him that you appreciate in an offensive lineman. Many compared him to Eric Andolsek, but he apparently simply did not develop the skills necessary to play at this level. He was 3rd string behind Herman Johnson and Will Arnold/Arnold Miller last year. He would likely have been 3rd string again this year, behind Herman Johnson and Will Blackwell. There is nothing left to do but wish him luck.
With the LSU football program currently butting up against the 85-number, the net effect is that LSU can sign one more recruit for the 2009 class, though I am fairly certain that we need still more attrition to be able to reach the consensus target number of 20 recruits.