After a lengthy recruitment with few distinguishable updates that extended beyond the early signing period, Austin St. Stephen's power forward Jarrett Allen ultimately elected to stay home after signing scholarship papers with the Texas Longhorns, according to reports from Scout and the Austin American-Statesman on Friday morning.
Allen personally confirmed the news to ESPN just before noon.
With Allen taking the unconventional route of signing scholarship papers, as opposed to committing to a program -- in this case, Texas -- he'll have the luxury of signing a financial aid agreement with Texas and attending summer classes before making a final decision before the fall semester. Essentially, if Allen decides his choice to enroll at Texas was the wrong decision, he'll have the freedom to un-enroll and head elsewhere.
Allen, a consensus five-star power forward, ultimately chose Texas over Houston and Kansas -- a significant win for Smart after outlasting several college basketball blue bloods, as Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Indiana and Notre Dame were previously in the mix, as well.
While Allen's recruitment provided few indications of which program he favored, three unofficial visits to the Forty Acres and mention of his relationship with Smart and Texas' development efforts with Prince Ibeh aided in the Longhorns being the team to beat down the stretch.
With the 6'9, 210-pound Allen now committed to Texas, the Longhorns not only have the No. 6-ranked class during Smart's first full recruiting cycle, but a bold answer to what was substantial uncertainty in the Longhorns frontcourt. With Texas losing Cameron Ridley, Connor Lammert and Ibeh, the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Smart's chore of replacing 510 points, 445 rebounds and 115 blocked shots from last season won't be as daunting after reeling in his second 2016 All-American.
Allen, a versatile two-way interior threat, ranks as the No. 5 power forward in the country and No. 4 overall prospect in Texas, according to 247Sports Composite. As the No. 17 overall prospect in the country, Allen becomes the highest ranked recruit in the Longhorns' 2016 class.