(Joel Richardson/For The Washington Post)

Allen, one of the top national recruits in the class of 2013, visited Tuscaloosa over the weekend and needed very little time to make his decision upon returning home on Sunday. Allen, who has been bombarded by offers from some of the country’s top programs, including Florida, Ohio State, Penn State and Virginia Tech, said he was relieved to make a verbal commitment.

“I’m feeling so good that I finally committed,” Allen said. “Hopefully, the process will start slowing down and I can start to focus on football, and on my senior year. … At the end of day I felt Alabama was the best fit for me. I’d develop more under [outside linebackers] Coach Lance Thompson and the whole staff.”

Allen had narrowed his choices to five options, though Florida and Alabama were the clear front-runners. Allen initially had planned a visit to Ohio State, but that fell through when Buckeyes Coach Urban Meyer was not going to be on campus.

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound pass rusher got to Alabama at 4 a.m. Saturday morning and stayed just more than 24 hours, but that clearly was enough time for him to be sold on the program. Born in Anniston, Ala., Allen said he spent the day with the entire Tide coaching staff.

“I enjoyed everything about it,” Allen said. “I can’t find one negative about the trip.”

Allen has racked up 192 tackles and 35 sacks in two seasons for the Bulldogs, who will again be among the Virginia AAA Northern Region favorites in 2012.

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