DETROIT, Mich. – It’s no secret that recruiting a player is an expensive venture for all schools across the country. When a player is 3,000 miles away, that expense only increases.
For the Cal State Fullerton Titans, they landed one of their best players in an unconventional way thanks in part to an online YouTube video.
Kyle Allman Jr. is originally from Brooklyn, NY, and played basketball at the High School for Construction-Trades, Engineering, and Architecture in Queens. Titans’ head coach Dedrique Taylor and assistant coach John Smith were watching another player when they first saw Allman play.
Only, Allman wasn’t in the game that Taylor was watching. Rather, a friend that goes by ‘Tippy’ sent Smith a YouTube video of Allman, who then showed the video to Taylor.
“John and I were sitting in the gym,” said Taylor in the Titans’ press conference at the 2018 NCAA Tournament in Detroit. “We were sitting in the gym watching another kid play, and John shows me the YouTube video.
“And I’m like, ‘really?’ Is he serious?”
Taylor and Smith went outside to call Tippy and heat about Allman. From there, Taylor and Smith got Allman and his family on the phone. One thing led to another, and Allman made the trip out to Fullerton, CA for an unofficial visit.
“He came out with his parents and immediately, his energy and passion jumped off the page to you,” continued Taylor, speaking of Allman’s unofficial visit to Cal State Fullerton. “Within 24 hours of meeting him and sitting down and talking to him and understanding the type of character that young man had…we offered him a scholarship.”
“Within 48 hours, he decided to commit. We got one of our better players off an unofficial visit. Just think about that,” concluded Taylor.
A junior in 2017-18, Allman has continued to make strides in the Big West Conference and has emerged as one of the conference’s top stars. He was named the Big West Tournament MVP after averaging 19.3 points and 4.0 assists per game over the Titans’ three wins.
He posted 26 points against the UC Irvine Anteaters on March 10th to help guide the Titans to their third-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Earlier this season, he posted a career-best 40 points against the Hawaii Warriors. Allman has scored in double figures 27 times this season, and has started 30 of 31 games.
In the player portion of the press conference, Allman’s teammates praised the junior for his development during the season.
“He’s being more aggressive,” said senior Arkim Robertson, when asked about Kyle’s breakout season. “He’s taking what the defense gives him. I think that’s been a major part of his success right now.”
“Over the last what, five or six games, he’s been playing his best basketball.”
Cal State Fullerton has taken considerable strides over the last few seasons under the guidance of Taylor and his staff. After falling short of the NCAA Tournament in 2016-17, the Titans were able to get some revenge and punch their ticket to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Allman’s journey to Fullerton goes to show you that unconventional ways can even work on the recruiting trail. A simple YouTube video and an unofficial visit was all it took for the Titans to find one of their best players.
– T. Bennett